Fluticasone and vilanterol

Sounds like 'floo-TIK-a-sone + vye-LAN-ter-ol'

Easy-to-read medicine information about fluticasone + vilanterol - what is it, how to use fluticasone + vilanterol safely and possible side effects. Fluticasone + vilanterol is also called Breo Ellipta®.

Type of medicine

Also called

  • This is a combination medicine. It contains a corticosteroid (fluticasone)
    a bronchodilator (vilanterol)
    • Breo Ellipta®

What is fluticasone + vilanterol?

  • Fluticasone + vilanterol are 2 medications mixed together in an inhaler (puffer).
  • The combination is used to prevent the symptoms of asthma and  chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) , such as shortness of breath and wheezing.
  • Fluticasone works by preventing the swelling and irritation in the walls of the small air passages in the lungs. It belongs to a group of medicines known as inhaled corticosteroids. It is also called a preventer (because when used every day it prevents asthma attacks).
  • Vilanterol works by relaxing and opening up the air passages and in that way makes breathing easier. It belongs to a group of medicines known as long-acting bronchodilators.
  • Fluticasone + vilanterol is not used to treat sudden breathing problems. Always have a rescue inhaler or quick-acting inhaler with you to treat sudden symptoms.
  • Fluticasone + vilanterol is available as a dry powder inhaler.


  • The dose of fluticasone + vilanterol is 1 inhalation once daily.
  • Fluticasone + vilanterol is a long-acting medication which means that its effects lasts for 24 hours.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much to use, how often to use it and any special instructions.

How to use fluticasone + vilanterol

  • To get the most benefit from the medication, it is important to use the correct technique when using your inhaler device.
  • Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse to explain how to use your fluticasone + vilanterol inhaler device.
  • Here is some guidance:
    • Slide the cover down to see the mouthpiece. You should hear a click.
    • Every time you slide the cover down, a dose is loaded. If you open and close the cover without inhaling the medicine, you will lose the dose.
    • While holding the inhaler away from your mouth, breathe out fully. Do not breathe out into the mouthpiece.
    • Put the mouthpiece between your lips and close your lips firmly around it. Your lips should fit over the curved shape of the mouthpiece.
    • Take one long, steady, deep breath in through your mouth. Do not breathe in through your nose.
    • Do not block the air vents with your fingers.
    • Remove the inhaler from your mouth and hold your breath for 3 to 4 seconds.
    • Breathe out slowly and gently.
    • Slide the cover up over the mouthpiece.

What else do I need to know?

  • Use fluticasone + vilanterol every day. Do not stop using fluticasone + vilanterol, even if you feel better.
  • Try to use it at the same time each day, to help you to remember to use it regularly.
  • Rinse your mouth with water and spit out after using yuor fluticasone + vilanterol inhaler.
  • It is not harmful if you miss a dose of fluticasone + vilanterol. If you miss a dose, you can take it as soon as you remember, or if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take your next dose at the right time.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines fluticasone + vilanterol can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted effects improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine.  
Side effects What should I do?
  • A different taste in your mouth
  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Fast heart rate
  • Feeling nervous, restless, agitated
  • Muscle cramps
  • These are common symptoms  that will likely go away with time.
  • If the side effects are severe or do not go away contact your health professional.
  • Signs of oral thrush (a fungal infection in the mouth) such as a very sore tongue or mouth, with white sores on the tongue, or in the mouth
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist
  • Allergic reaction such as skin rashes, itching, swelling of the face, lips or mouth.
  • Tell your doctor immediately  or ring Healthline on 0800 611 116

Learn More

Asthma Foundation: learn more about inhalers

Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets:
Breo Ellipta


Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist.