Alternatives to Breo Ellipta: which other asthma medications can I take?

Breo Ellipta is an FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved medication manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Breo Ellipta is for adults to manage exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and for the treatment of asthma. It’s inhaled directly into your lungs and airways using a Breo Ellipta inhaler.

Here, we will take a look at what Breo Ellipta is, and what alternatives there are available.

What is Breo Ellipta?

Breo Ellipta is used daily to open up your airways and make breathing easier, providing relief from the symptoms of COPD and asthma. It also helps to reduce the chances and severity of the sudden onset of severe symptoms, like asthma attacks.

Breo Ellipta is not recommended for use in people with acute bronchospasm or asthma that can be managed with ICS (inhaled corticosteroids) or inhaled short-acting beta2-agonist prescription drugs such as ProAir HFA, Proventil HFA, or Ventolin HFA that contain albuterol.

Breo Ellipta contains two active ingredients, fluticasone furoate, a steroid, and vilanterol, a long-acting bronchodilator (LABA). They work together to relieve COPD and reduce your chances of having an asthma attack. When taken regularly, Breo Ellipta can ease COPD and asthma symptoms, and reduce the number and severity of asthma attacks

Is there a cheaper alternative to Breo Ellipta?

Advair contains fluticasone propionate, an anti-inflammatory, and salmeterol, a long-acting bronchodilator that work together to improve lung function. Advair is available as Advair Diskus (a dry powder inhaled by mouth), or Advair HFA, metered dose inhaler, which has an inhalation aerosol inhaled by mouth. Advair is available as the brand name and as a generic, which may mean that it will be available cheaper.

Is there a generic substitute for Breo Ellipta?

No, currently there is no generic substitute for Breo Ellipta.

Which is better Symbicort or Breo Ellipta?

Symbicort and Breo Ellipta both contain a combination of active ingredients, an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), and a long-acting beta-agonist. Breo contains vilanterol and fluticasone and Symbicort contains formoterol and budesonide. Breo Ellipta and Symbicort both show a similar amount of improvement in lung function in asthma patients. Breo however is used once each day and has better patient adherence than Symbicort, which is used as two inhalations twice a day.

Are Trelegy Ellipta and Breo Ellipta the same?

Breo Ellipta contains two medications, fluticasone, and vilanterol. Trelegy Ellipta contains three medications, fluticasone (ICS), vilanterol LABA), and umeclidinium, an anticholinergic drug. Trelegy Ellipta is used to relieve symptoms of moderate to severe COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Trelegy Ellipta is more effective than Breo Ellipta and reduces flare-ups and improves lung function by 15% over 1 year compared to Breo.

What other alternatives are there to Breo Ellipta?

Other alternatives to Breo Ellipta include:

  • Flovent, which contains fluticasone propionate (an inhaled corticosteroid) as the active ingredient, for the long-term treatment of asthma in patients 4 years of age and older
  • Spiriva, which contains tiotropium bromide, a long-acting bronchodilator used for the management of COPD and asthma. Spiriva is used when problems with breathing occur to stop them from deteriorating, rather than stopping them from happening
  • Dulera, which contains mometasone and formoterol, which are also classed as an ICS and a LABA

Common side effects of Breo Ellipta

The most common side effects of Breo Ellipta in clinical trials include:

  • Upper respiratory tract infections, bronchitis
  • Influenza
  • Fever, headaches
  • Sinusitis
  • A sore throat, throat pain, cough
  • Oral thrush (candidiasis) infections
  • Back pain, joint pain
  • Increased risk for high blood pressure, altered heart rate, or changes in heart rhythm.

More serious possible side effects of Breo Ellipta include

  • Severe life-threatening allergic reactions
  • Worsening breathing difficulties
  • Pneumonia

These aren’t all the side effects Breo Ellipta or Symbicort can cause. You can find more details in the patient leaflet that comes with your medication. If you have any concerns about side effects, talk to a healthcare professional.

What is the cost of Breo Ellipta?

Breo Ellipta prices vary by retailer and will depend on if you buy a 30 or 60-dose inhaler. As a guide, a 60-dose Breo Ellipta disk inhaler will cost around $480.

Breo Ellipta dosage

Breo Ellipta is available as a Breo comes as a dry powder inhaler. The inhaler contains 2 foil blister strips of powder formulation for oral inhalation. One strip contains fluticasone furoate 100 or 200 mcg per blister and the other contains vilanterol 25 mcg per blister.

For the maintenance treatment of COPD use 1 inhalation of Breo Ellipta 100/25 once daily. For asthma use, 1 inhalation of Breo Ellipta 100/25 or 200/25 once daily. Breo Ellipta is a once-daily medication used to treat various respiratory issues, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Breo is not a rescue inhaler and should not be used in cases of a sudden breathing problem.

Breo Ellipta drug interactions

Breo Ellipta can interact with other medications. These include:

  • Other medicines that contain a LABA (beta2-adrenergic agonist)
  • Beta-blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Strong cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors, like ketoconazole
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

Breo Ellipta can interact with other medications. This can change how Breo Ellipta and other medications work and can make side effects more likely. Tell your prescribing physician about all your drugs, including vitamins and dietary supplements.

Breo Ellipta contraindications

You should not use Breo Ellipta if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredients fluticasone furoate or vilanterol
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Breo Ellipta
  • Have a severe allergy to milk proteins
  • Are under 18 years of age

Talk to your doctor before using Breo Ellipta if you:

  • Have any heart problems
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have any immune system problems
  • Have a current viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection
  • Have been exposed to measles or chickenpox
  • Suffer from seizures
  • Have any thyroid problems
  • Have diabetes or high blood sugar
  • Have any liver problems
  • Have osteoporosis
  • Have any eye problems, like glaucoma, cataracts, or increased pressure in your eye
  • Are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed

Please read the prescribing information provided with your medication and always speak with your healthcare provider for medical advice about any changes to your dose so they can monitor and evaluate your condition.

Similarly, speak to your doctor if you are using Breo Ellipta and plan to stop your treatment or are thinking about switching to an alternative treatment.

Medically reviewed

A medical professional has reviewed this article.

Jamie Winn, PharmD
Jamie Winn, PharmD

Jamie Winn, PharmD

Medical Writer & Reviewer

Jamie Winn, PharmD

Medical Writer & Reviewer

Dr. Jamie Winn received his Doctor of Pharmacy in 2002 from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, SC. Jamie is a medical reviewer for NiceRx.

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The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.