Umeclidinium and vilanterol

Also called Anoro Ellipta

Easy-to-read medicine information about umeclidinium + vilanterol – what it is, how to take it safely and possible side effects. Umeclidinium + vilanterol is also called Anoro Ellipta.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Bronchodilator
  • Combination inhaler of 2 different long-acting bronchodilators
  • Anoro Ellipta®

What is umeclidinium + vilanterol?

Umeclidinium + vilanterol is used to prevent symptoms of COPD such as such wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. It reduces your symptoms over the long term. Umeclidinium + vilanterol opens air passages in the lungs making breathing easier. Umeclidinium + vilanterol must be used every day. It is a long-acting bronchodilator, which means that it works throughout the day.

In New Zealand umeclidinium + vilanterol is available as an inhalation powder called Anoro Ellipta (sounds like 'AN-o-ro e-LIP-ta').

Using an inhaler device enables the medicine to go straight into your airways when you breathe in. This means that your airways and lungs are treated, but very little of the medicine gets into the rest of your body.

Umeclidinium vilanterol does not give immediate relief from wheezing, tight chest and shortness of breath
If you need quick relief from these symptoms, use your ‘reliever’ medicine such as salbutamol or terbutaline.


  • The dose of umeclidinium vilanterol is 1 inhalation once daily.
  • 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.


  • Keep using your inhaler every day. Do not stop using it, even if you feel better. Since COPD is a long-term condition, prevention with umeclidinium + vilanterol is ongoing and it needs to be used every day.
  • Try to use your inhaler at the same time each day, to help you to remember to use it regularly.
  • If you miss a dose, you can take it as soon as you remember. But if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take your next dose at the right time.

How to use your Ellipta inhaler 

To get the most benefit, it is important to use the correct technique. Ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse to show you how to use your Ellipta inhaler. Here is some guidance:


(Health Navigator NZ & Auckland District Health Board, 2018)

Using your Ellipta inhaler

  • Remove the device from the foil packing.
  • Open: Pull back the mouth piece cover until you hear a click. Hold the device upright at all times. Breath out away from the device.
  • Inhale your dose: Press your lips around the mouthpiece without covering the air vents on either side. Begin to breathe in rapidly and deeply through your mouth. Hold your breath for up to 10 seconds. Breathe out slowly. Close the mouth piece cover.

Cleaning and storing your Ellipta inhaler: Clean your device once a week by wiping the mouthpiece with a clean dry tissue. Do not wash the mouthpiece or allow it to get wet when cleaning. Close the device when not in use. Store it in a cool dry place, away from heat and moisture.

When to start a new inhaler: There is a window on the front of your Ellipta inhaler called a dose counter. When it turns red it is time to get a new inhaler.

Precautions – before using umeclidinium vilanterol

  • Do you have heart disease?
  • Do you have an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroid)?
  • Do you have high blood pressure (hypertension)?
  • Do you have an irregular heartbeat or rhythm, including a very fast pulse?
  • Do you have diabetes?
  • Do you have problems with your prostate or have had difficulty passing urine?
  • Do you have glaucoma?
  • Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • Do you play professional or competitive sport?
  • Do you have problems with your liver?
  • Are you lactose intolerant?

If so, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start using umeclidinium vilanterol. Sometimes a medicine isn’t suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.

Possible side effects

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

Side effects What should I do?
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat

  • After using your inhaler device, rinse your mouth to prevent dry mouth and throat irritation.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Headache
  • Pain in your arms and legs
  • Muscle cramp and spasms 
  • Shaking (tremor)
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Nervousness
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness 
  • Tell your doctor.
  • Do not drive or use machinery.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • 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

Anoro Ellipta Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets


  1. Umeclidinium + vilanterol New Zealand Formulary
Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland Last reviewed: 22 Jun 2019