Prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the US is estimated to be around 6% of the total adult population, accounting for roughly 14.8 million of the adult population. The number of deaths attributed to the condition is also high at 150000 Americans annually. Similarly, bronchitis is known to affect close to 9 million Americans with three fourths of the patients from above 45 years age category. There is gender angle to the chronic bronchitis, with the rate of cases among women being twice that of males. Various medications are presently used in treating the condition including beta2-adrenergic agonist. Subsequent sections offer detailed information this medication including possible breo ellipta side effects to help users prevent and mitigate undesirable outcomes.

Overview of Breo ellipta

Belonging to the category of long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist, Breo ellipta is used in combination with other medications to treat COPD, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is essentially a combination of two different drugs – fluticasone furoate and vilanterol trifenatate. The former is an inhaled corticosteroids while the latter is used for relaxing muscles that are located in the airways. The mechanism of action of vilanterol is mainly the stimulation of intracellular adenylyl cyclase and this results in the production of cyclic AMP through conversion. This is turn is known to relax bronchial smooth muscles.

One of the reasons for the relative popularity of the medication is the lesser adverse outcomes linked to the medication unlike other medications.

Uses of Breo ellipta

The medication, as mentioned above is used to prevent asthma attacks. This is especially used in adults who are on medications that have not reduced or prevented the asthma attacks. It is necessary note that it is used as a preventive measure and is not to be used when an individual is experiencing an asthma attack. It is not to be used as a treatment during an attack, or to offer relief during an attack. The highlight of the drug is the reduction in number of attacks in patients, when it is taken as recommended.

Commonly reported undesirable effects of Breo ellipta

All medications come with the risk of undesirable effects, and Breo ellipta is no exception. The actual side effects may differ from person to person and will depend on various factors such as the age, gender, overall health condition, the dosage of the mediation and frequency. This also depends on the presence of existing conditions and medications in use. It is also necessary to note that not all individuals may experience unwanted outcomes. Some may not experience any kind of side effects at all and may tolerate high doses of the medication easily.

Generally, side effects are of different types or categories. There may be mild/moderate effects or strong/adverse effects.  Most mild effects are known to resolve naturally without the need for medication or intervention. Strong effects may require intervention and in certain instances require swift medical attention, before it turns serious in nature. The following is a compilation of commonly reported or known side effects and is not exhaustive in nature or complete. There could also be some changes or distinction in the effects experienced, depending on the condition for which the medication is taken. For instance, an individual on the medication for COPD may experience slightly different effects from an individual on the medication for asthma.

Effects when Breo ellipta is taken for COPD

Individuals on the medication for COPD are more likely to experience back pain and pain in the joints. Other effects that may be experienced include the possibility of low-grade fever. These effects may resolve naturally and in the event that they persist, may be treated symptomatically.

Effects when Breo ellipta is taken for asthma

Asthma patients on the medication are likely to experience possible loss of voice as a result of the mechanism of action of the drug. Similarly, patients may also experience a sudden change in heartbeat rate/rhythm, such as fast paced heart beats, or slow heart beats or heart beats that are irregular without any consistent rhythm/rate.

Effects that are common to both conditions

There is also the possibility of asthma patients and patients with COPD experiencing common effects from the medication. There is the possibility of inflammation in the lung airways. The patient may also have bouts of cough, apart from a throbbing headache. Other common effects include the possibility of a fungal infection in the mouth or the throat, medically known as oral thrush.  There is also the possibility of respiratory infections, and this includes influenza, common cold. Symptoms that are consistent with pneumonia may also be experienced by the patients on the medication. There is also the possibility of sore throat in the patients on the medication. As outlined earlier, these effects are likely to resolve naturally, and may require treatment if persistent.

Effects that are of concern

#1 Heart conditions

There are effects that are of concern, and need to be handled accordingly. Though the possibility of occurrence is rare in nature, it is not entirely ruled out. These effects are common to both patients and need to be carefully or quickly identified to prevent it from turning into a life-threatening condition. For instance, a drastic change in blood pressure levels or rhythm of the heart, as mentioned above is possible and there are clear symptoms that need to identified. This includes pain in the chest or abnormal pressure, and possible shortness of breath. Other symptoms include a light headed feeling or dizziness or the patient may faint. Patients may end up with changes in the heart beat/rhythm.

#2 Oral Thrush

Oral thrush also needs to be managed in time and the symptoms that indicate oral thrush include the outbreak of white bumps in the mouth that could be painful in nature. The skin in the corner of the mouth could appear unusually dry. Patients may have difficulty in swallowing food or liquids and this indicates that the condition has progressed.

#3 Pneumonia

The patient may end up with pneumonia and symptoms that are consistent with the condition include pain in the chest. The patient may experience difficulty in breathing with shortness of breath experienced. Other symptoms that may be experienced include cough that brings up mucous, apart from low grade fever.

#4 High levels of cortisol

The medication can trigger high levels of cortisol, and create a condition medically known as Hypercorticism. Tell-tale symptoms of this condition help to easily identify the condition and seek medical intervention. For instance, the patient gain weight abnormally and quickly, and this could be mainly around the midriff and the upper back of the patient. There could be an abnormal change in the shape of the face, with the face appearing more round than usual. The patient may easily suffer bruises, and the pace of healing of wounds and cuts may be slower than usual. The outbreak of acne also cannot be ruled out when cortisol levels spike.

#5 Low levels of cortisol

An outcome that is contrary to the above is also possible, wherein the cortisol levels are lowered significantly in a condition medically known as adrenal suppression. Symptoms associated with this include weakness in the muscles, overall fatigue and changes in the appearance of the skin – the skin may appear darker than normal. The patient may exhibit a sudden loss of appetite and show total disinterest in food.

#6 Changes in bone density levels

Another condition that needs medical intervention is a change in bone density levels. The patient may end up with a reduction in bone density levels with tell-tale symptoms. Symptoms that are consistent with this include pain in the back, and decrease in height. The posture of the patient may also change involuntarily, apart from the possibility of an increase in fractures. Studies have clearly established the link between cortisol and height, and it is therefore necessary to seek treatment at the earliest.

#7 Vision related complications

There is also the possibility of vision related complications attributed to breo ellipta side effects. Patients may end up with cataract and glaucoma, and symptoms that help to identify this incudes pain in the eye that is not attributed to any condition. The patient may experience headache, and may also experience vomiting sensations and feelings of nausea. Blind spots may be experienced in vision, impacting vision of the patient. In addition to this, there could also be blurring of vision, where objects may appear cloudy. This may also extend to night vision related complications, with the individual finding it challenging to see clearly at night. Lights or bright lights may appear to have a halo around the light and this could be considered as a strong symptom of the condition. Other symptoms include the possibility of the patient experiencing turning sensitive to lights.

#8 Blood sugar levels

The medication could also have an impact on the blood sugar levels, and result in a condition medically known as Hyperglycemia. The patient may experience the urge to urinate more frequently or may experience overall fatigue. The patient may experience abnormal thirst, and this could in turn impact the frequency of urination. Throbbing headaches are a possibility, apart from this having an impact on vision.

#9 Impact on potassium levels

The medication could also cause a decrease in potassium levels, and end up in a condition medically known as Hypokalemia. Symptoms linked to the condition include overall fatigue, and cramps in the muscles, apart from bouts of constipation. Young patients may end up with lesser than normal or expected growth, while adults may experience changes in heart beats.

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