Sounds like 'IN-da-KA-ter-ol'

Easy-to-read medicine information about indacaterol - what is it, how to take indacaterol safely and possible side effects. Indacaterol is also called Onbrez®

Type of medicine Also called
  • Bronchodilator
  • Long-acting bronchodilator
  • Onbrez®

What is indacaterol?

  • Indacaterol is used to prevent symptoms of  chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) , such as shortness of breath and wheezing.
  • It works by relaxing and opening up the air passages which makes breathing easier — improves shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing.
  • Indacaterol is not suitable for treat sudden breathing problems. Always have a rescue inhaler or quick-acting reliever inhaler with you to treat sudden symptoms.
  • Indacaterol is available as inhalation capsules to be used with the Onbrez Breezhaler inhaler device.
  • Indacaterol is also available in combination with glycopyrronium - see indacaterol + glycopyrronium.  


  • The dose of indacaterol is 1 capsule inhaled once a day.
  • Inhale the powder in the capsule using the Onbrez Breezhaler device. Do not swallow the capsule.
  • Indacaterol 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 indacaterol

  • 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 indacaterol inhaler device.
  • Here is some guidance:
    • Remove the cap. Hold the base of the inhaler device and tilt the mouthpiece. This opens the inhaler.
    • Take a capsule from the blister packaging and put it into the capsule chamber of the inhaler. Close the inhaler — you will hear it click.
    • Hold the inhaler upright and press both side buttons at the same time. You should hear a click as the capsule is pierced. Then release the side buttons.
    • Breathe out and then put the mouthpiece in your mouth and close your lips firmly around it.
    • Breathe in and hold your breath for around 5 to10 seconds. Then breathe out.
    • Remove the empty capsule, close the inhaler and then replace the cap.

Special instructions

  • Inhale your indacaterol capsule using your Breezhaler device once a day.
  • Try inhaling your dose at about the same time each day.
  • Indacaterol starts working within a few hours, but it may take longer to feel the full effects.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember.
  • However, if it is nearly time for your next dose, take the next dose at the usual time. Do not take double the dose.
  • Keep inhaling your indacaterol capsule every day, even if you feel better. This will help to keep you free of symptoms throughout the day and night.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines indacaterol can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Dry mouth
  • A change in voice (hoarse voice)
  • A different taste in your mouth
  • After using your inhaler device, rinse your mouth to prevent dry mouth and throat irritation
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Headache
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Changes in your heartbeat (fast or irregular)
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline on 0800 611 116
  • Difficulty breathing or worsening of your breathing problem.
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline on 0800 611 116

Learn more

Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets:


Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Carolyn Woolerton, Pharmacist, MedWise, August 2016 Last reviewed: 02 May 2016