Umeclidinium and vilanterol

Sounds like 'ue-ME-kli-DIN-ee-um + vye-LAN-ter-ol'

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

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

What is umeclidinium + vilanterol?

  • Umeclidinium and vilanterol are 2 medications mixed together in a single inhaler.
  • This combination is used to prevent symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), such as shortness of breath and wheezing.
  • Both work by relaxing and opening up the air passages which makes breathing easier, improves shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing.
  • Umeclidinium + vilanterol is not used to treat sudden breathing problems. Always have a rescue inhaler or quick-acting inhaler with you to treat sudden symptoms.
  • Umeclidinium + vilanterol is available as an inhalation powder called Anoro Ellipta®.


  • 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 umeclidinium + vilanterol every day, even if you feel better. This will help to keep you free of symptoms throughout the day and night.

How to use umeclidinium + 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 umeclidinium + vilanterol inhaler device. The following is a guide:

  • The Anoro Ellipta® inhaler contains pre-dispensed doses and is ready to use.
  • The inhaler will be in the 'closed' position when it is first taken out of its sealed tray.
  • If the inhaler cover is opened and closed without inhaling the medicinal product, the dose will be lost. 
  • To prepare a dose
    • Open the cover when ready to take a dose. The inhaler should not be shaken.
    • Slide the cover down until a “click” is heard. The dose is now ready to be inhaled.
    • The dose counter counts down by 1 to confirm. If the dose counter does not count down as the “click” is heard, the inhaler will not deliver a dose and should be taken back to a pharmacist for advice.
  • To inhale the dose
    • Hold the inhaler away from the mouth.
    • Breathing out as far as is comfortable. 
    • Place the mouthpiece between the lips and the lips should then be closed firmly around it. The air vents should not be blocked with fingers during use.
    • Inhale with one long, steady, deep breath in. This breath should be held in for as long as possible (at least 3-4 seconds).
    • Remove the inhaler from the mouth.
    • Breathe out slowly and gently.
    • The medicine may not be tasted or felt, even when using the inhaler correctly.
    • Wipe the mouthpiece of the inhaler using a dry tissue before closing the cover.
    • To close the inhaler, slide the cover upwards as far as it will go, to cover the mouthpiece.

Special instructions

  • Use your umeclidinium + vilanterol inhaler once a day.
  • Try using it at about the same time each day.
  • Only open the inhaler when you are ready to take a dose. If you open and close the cover of the inhaler without inhaling the medicine, you will lose that dose.
  • If you are using other inhalers at the same time, wait at least 1 minute between the use of each medication.
  • Discard the umeclidinium + vilanterol inhaler 6 weeks after first use.
  • 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.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines umeclidinium + vilanterol 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
  • 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)
  • 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:
Anoro Ellipta

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Carolyn Woolerton, Pharmacist, MedWise, August 2016