Arnuity Ellipta: New Asthma Inhaler Approved

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Arnuity Ellipta (fluticasone furoate) is the newest corticosteroid inhaler approved for the long-term maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with asthma. It was approved by the FDA on August 20, 2014.

When will Arnuity Ellipta be available?

At this time the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, has not set a release date.

How is this medication to be taken?
Arnuity Ellipta is an inhalation powder that is used once-daily. It is indicated for patients 12 years of age and older for the preventative treatment of asthma.

Who should not use this medication?

Do not use Arnuity Ellipta if you are allergic to any of the components of the medication (fluticasone furoate), or if you have an allergy to milk proteins.

What are some side effects of Arnuity Ellipta?

The most commonly reported side effects include nasopharyngitis (AKA the common cold), upper respiratory tract infection, headache, and bronchitis.

In what strengths and forms will Arnuity Ellipta be available?
Arnuity Ellipta will be available as a 100mcg or 200mcg dry-powder inhaler (DPI).

Arnuity Ellipta a dry-powder inhaler (DPI)–what does that mean?

Unlike classic metered dose inhalers (like Proventil HFA or Proair HFA), the medication in the Arnuity Ellipta is a powder for inhalation and the inhaler does not use a propellant to get the medication into the lungs. The Ellipta inhaler relies your ability to inhale the powder in order for it to be dispersed properly.

For more information on DPIs, check out this post.

What type of medication is Arnuity Ellipta?
Arnuity Ellipta is a corticosteroid. Corticosteroids decrease inflammation and swelling in the airways when inhaled.

Is Arnuity Ellipta considered a rescue or maintenance inhaler?
Arnuity Ellipta is a maintenance inhaler. Maintenance inhalers are important because they help to control your asthma symptoms before they even start–they maintain your airways so that there is less inflammation and swelling.

Can I skip my maintenance inhaler dose if my breathing is okay?
NO. Maintenance inhalers need to be used as prescribed on a daily basis even if you do not have trouble breathing that day.

Maintenance inhalers may NOT be used on an as-needed-basis whenever you feel you are having trouble breathing, and are NOT to be used during an asthma attack.

In contrast, fast-acting or rescue inhalers should be used instead during an actual asthma attack. They work by quickly opening the airways in the lungs so that you can breathe more easily.

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