The Effects of Seretide

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The Effects of Seretide
Seretide is marketed by GlaxoSmithKline for the treatment of asthma and COPD. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Seretide is a medicinal inhaler for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. The medication is composed of two active components, namely fluticasone propionate and salmeterol. Fluticasone propionate is used to reduce the inflammation of the airways and salmeterol is used to relieve constriction of the muscles around them. As this medication is only available by prescription, you should consult with a health care provider before using this product.

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Active Ingredients of Seretide

The manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, markets the combination of flucticasone and salmeterol under the trade name of Advair in the U.S. and Canada and under the trade name of Seretide in the European Union. According to the manufacturer's website, the Seretide inhaler contains either 50mcg of fluticasone propionate and 25mcg of salmeterol per dose or 125mcg of fluticasone propionate and 25 of salmeterol. Whereas the Seretide Accuhaler is available in two concentrations of fluticasone propionate and salmeterol in either 100 and 50mcg per dose or 250 and 50mcg per dose, respectively.

Effects of Salmeterol in Seretide on Airways

Salmeterol is a compound known as a beta 2-agonist, which is a bronchodilator that relaxes the muscles surrounding the airways that constrict during an asthma attack or in COPD. This compound is known as an "agonist" because it stimulates the beta-2 receptors of muscle cells to release the airways. Opening the airways will alleviate the symptoms of dyspnea, or difficulty in breathing. Beta-2 agonists affect the airways shortly after they are inhaled and will alleviate symptoms for approximately four hours, thereby necessitating several doses every day.

Effects of Fluticasone Propionate on Inflammation

The effects of fluticasone propionate work in much the same way as do corticosteroids. This compound will relax the airways by acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. Since steroid receptors are within the cell as opposed to being located on the cell membrane, this medication must cross a cellular membrane to activate the production of proteins for two distinct cellular processes known as transcription and translation. Upon binding with the steroid, the receptor frees its associated proteins, moves to the nucleus of the cell and binds to specific DNA sequences called response elements. The receptor/steroid molecules then instigate transcription and translation, which code for the proteins that can inhibit the inflammatory response in the lung tissue.

Side Effects of Seretide

Side effects of beta-2 agonists, such as salmeterol, include rapid heart rate, anxiety, tremors and reduced blood potassium, which can be fatal. Fluticasone propionate has potential withdrawal symptoms, which include joint and muscle pain, fatigue and depression. According to the manufacturer's fact sheet, patients using this medicine need to be monitored for pulmonary, or lung, disease, cardiac, or heart, complications and neuropathy, which is damage to the nerves. Other complications may include rhinitis, which is swelling of the nasal tissues, conjunctivitis, or inflammation of the eye tissue, as well as eczema, a skin disorder and arthritis, which is the inflammation of the joints.

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