Umeclidinium

Sounds like 'ue-ME-kli-DIN-ee-um'.

Easy-to-read medicine information about umeclidinium - what it is, how to take it safely and possible side effects. Umeclidinium is also called Incruse Ellipta (sounds like 'IN-cruise e-LIP-ta').

Type of medicine Also called
  • Bronchodilator (opens the airways)
  • Incruse Ellipta®

What is umeclidinium?

Umeclidinium 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 opens air passages in the lungs making breathing easier. Umeclidinium must be used every day. It is a long-acting bronchodilator, which means that it works throughout the day.

In New Zealand umeclidinium is available as an inhalation powder called Incruse Ellipta (sounds like 'IN-cruise 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 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.

Dose

  • The dose of umeclidinium 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.

Tips

  • 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 is ongoing and it will need 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

  • Do you have problems with your prostate, or have had difficulty passing urine?
  • Do you have glaucoma?
  • Do you have heart problems such as an unusual heart rhythm?
  • Are you lactose intolerant?
  • Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?

If so, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start using umeclidinium. 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 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
  • Cough
  • After using your inhaler device, rinse your mouth to prevent dry mouth and throat irritation.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Constipation (difficulty passing poos)
  • Diarrhoea (loose poos)
  • Tell your doctor .
  • Changes in your heartbeat (fast or irregular)
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline on 0800 611 116.
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Tell your doctor.
  • Do not drive or use machinery.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Difficulty breathing or worsening of your breathing problem
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline on 0800 611 116.

Learn more

Incruse Ellipta® Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets

References

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