Trelegy side effects and how to avoid them
Trelegy Ellipta is an FDA-approved medication manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). It is classified as an ICS, LABA, and anticholinergic bronchodilator and is used to treat asthma and COPD. While Trelegy Ellipta is generally well tolerated, there are some potential side effects that people should be aware of. The most common side effects of Trelegy Ellipta include sore throats and cough. Less common, but more serious side effects, can include glaucoma and cataracts.
Learn more about the side effects of Trelegy Ellipta and what you can do to avoid them.
What is Trelegy Ellipta?
Approval of Trelegy Ellipta is based on clinical trials showing it improved lung function, COPD exacerbations, and quality of life more than AstraZeneca’s long-established two-drug inhaler Symbicort.
Trelegy Ellipta is an inhaled medication prescribed to adults to reduce the daily symptoms and the likelihood of flare-ups of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It helps to reduce inflammation and relax your airways and lungs, opening them up and making it easier for you to breathe. Trelegy combines three active ingredients called fluticasone furoate, umeclidinium, and vilanterol. They work together to help you breathe more easily and to reduce your asthma and COPD symptoms.
Fluticasone furoate is an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) that reduces inflammation in your airways and lungs. It works by attaching to the surface of cells in your airways and lungs at sites called glucocorticoid receptors. This stimulates the receptors, making the cells produce less of the substances that trigger inflammation and more of the substances that reduce inflammation.
Umeclidinium is an anticholinergic bronchodilator, also known as a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA), that relaxes the muscles in your airways and lungs. It works by attaching to muscarinic receptors on the surface of your muscle cells. This blocks the receptors, stopping them from being stimulated, causing your muscle tissue to relax, and opening up your airways and lungs.
Vilanterol is classed as a long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA). It also helps to relax the muscle tissue in your airways and lungs. It attaches to receptors on the surface of your muscle tissue called beta-adrenoreceptors, which stimulate the receptors, causing the muscle tissue to relax.
Does Trelegy heal your lungs?
Trelegy helps improve your lung function allowing you to breathe more easily by opening the airways in your lungs, keeping these airways open, and reducing inflammation.
What is the best time of day to take Trelegy?
You can use Trelegy Ellipta at any time of the day, as long as you use it at the same time every day. Use Trelegy only once each day in any 24 hours. If you forget to take a dose of Trelegy, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at your normal time.
Does Trelegy cure asthma?
Trelegy will not cure asthma. Trelegy is a long-term treatment for the management of the symptoms of COPD, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma in adults.
Is Trelegy an antibiotic?
Trelegy Ellipta is not an antibiotic. Trelegy’s active ingredients are fluticasone furoate, an inhaled corticosteroid, umeclidinium bromide, an anticholinergic bronchodilator, and vilanterol, a LABA.
Does Trelegy help you breathe better?
Trelegy will help you breathe better, improve how well your lungs function, and prevent further flare-ups in the future. Trelegy will not help if you have sudden breathing problems such as an asthma attack and should not be used as a rescue inhaler.
Can you still work with Trelegy?
Yes. Continue using Trelegy unless your doctor tells you to stop using it. Stopping treatment suddenly without medical advice may make your symptoms worse.
What is the name of the active ingredient in Trelegy?
Trelegy Ellipta contains fluticasone furoate, an inhaled corticosteroid, umeclidinium bromide, an anticholinergic bronchodilator, and vilanterol, a LABA, as the active ingredients.
How long does it take for Trelegy to work?
Trelegy will start to work immediately after the first dose but it will take a few weeks or longer for you to feel the full benefits.
What are the most common side effects of Trelegy Ellipta?
The most common possible side effects of Trelegy Ellipta include:
- Sore throat, cough
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Muscle and joint pain
- Back pain
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea, vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Diarrhea, constipation
- Painful and frequent urination
- Urinary tract infections
- Fungal infections (candida/thrush) in your mouth and throat – this is less likely if you rinse your mouth out with water after taking your Trelegy Ellipta
- Increase in upper respiratory tract infections, like the common cold, the flu, and sinus infections
- Changes in taste
More serious side effects of Trelegy Ellipta include:
- Life-threatening allergic reactions including hives, rashes, itching, swelling in your face, tongue, and throat, chest pain, and shortness of breath, trouble breathing
- An increased risk of developing pneumonia if you also have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- A weakened immune system
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Sudden worsening of your asthma symptoms, including asthma attacks (paradoxical bronchospasm)
- Increased blood pressure
- Fast heart rate and/or irregular heartbeat
- Osteoporosis (reduced bone mineral density)
- An increased risk of eye problems, including eye pain, glaucoma, cataracts, and blurred vision
- Slowed rates of growth in children
If you experience any of these serious side effects, stop taking Trelegy Ellipta and seek medical attention immediately. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Does Trelegy make you tired?
Trelegy Ellipta may cause wheezing and make you feel tired. Speak to your healthcare provider if these side effects become problematic.
Do Trelegy side effects go away?
Some of the side effects of Trelegy will go away as you adjust to your treatment. Speak to your doctor about ways to reduce your side effects.
Trelegy side effects weight gain
Trelegy Ellipta does not cause weight gain.
Does Trelegy cause eye problems?
Trelegy can cause glaucoma, worsening of glaucoma, blurred vision, and cataracts. You should have eye check-ups on a regular basis when using Trelegy.
Trelegy Ellipta dosage
Trelegy Ellipta is available as an inhalation powder containing 2 strips of powder for oral inhalation. One strip contains fluticasone furoate 100 mcg and the other strip contains umeclidinium/vilanterol 62.5 mcg/25 mcg.
Trelegy is for oral inhalation only. For the maintenance treatment of COPD, inhale 1 inhalation of Trelegy Ellipta once each day.
You are advised to read the prescribing information and medication guide provided with this medicine for the drug information and patient information, and always speak with your healthcare provider for medical advice about any changes to your dose so they can monitor and evaluate your condition.
Trelegy Ellipta drug interactions
Trelegy Ellipta can interact with other medications including:
- Anticholinergic – tiotropium, ipratropium, or aclidinium
- Long-acting beta agonists (LABA) – salmeterol, formoterol, arformoterol, olodaterol, or indacaterol
- Other medications that contain steroids
- Any medications taken to treat bacterial, viral, or fungal infections, including an HIV infection, such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, ritonavir, nelfinavir, or cobicistat
Before taking Trelegy Ellipta, be sure to tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking to ensure they are safe to take at the same time.
Trelegy Ellipta warnings & precautions
Don’t take Trelegy Ellipta if:
- Are allergic to the active ingredient fluticasone furoate, umeclidinium, or vilanterol
- Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Trelegy Ellipta
- Have a severe milk protein allergy
- Are taking another medication that contains long-acting beta-agonists (LABA) or an anticholinergic active ingredient
- Are under 18 years of age
Talk to your doctor before using Trelegy Ellipta if you:
- Have any heart problems
- Have any problems with your immune system
- Have any liver problems
- Have high blood pressure
- Suffer from seizures
- Have diabetes
- Have any eye problems, including cataracts or glaucoma
- Have osteoporosis
- Have any thyroid problems
- Have or have ever had any problems with your adrenal glands
- Have an active infection
- Have recently been around someone who has measles or chickenpox
- Have a mild to moderate milk protein allergy
- Have any prostate or bladder problems, or problems passing urine
- Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
- Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed
You should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication, including Trelegy Ellipta, to make sure it is safe for you.
How to avoid Trelegy Ellipta side effects
The best way to avoid side effects is to take Trelegy Ellipta as directed by your doctor. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and do not take more or less than prescribed.
If you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to recommend ways to help reduce or prevent some of the side effects.
1. Stick to the recommended dosage
Take your prescribed dose of Trelegy Ellipta that has been recommended by your healthcare professional. Do not take more or less than prescribed.
2. Monitor your blood sugar levels
If you have diabetes, it is important to monitor your blood sugar levels closely while taking Trelegy Ellipta. Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor and report any changes to your doctor immediately.
3. Drink plenty of fluids
Drink eight to 10 glasses of water or fluids every day to help prevent dehydration, which can make side effects worse.
4. Avoid alcohol
It is safe to drink alcohol in moderation if you have COPD and use Trelegy Ellipta. If your symptoms of COPD or asthma become worse speak to your healthcare provider for further medical advice.
5. Don’t skip meals
Eating regular meals and snacks will help to prevent low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).
6. Check your feet
If you have diabetes, check your feet for any cuts, sores, or redness regularly. Tell your doctor if you experience any problems with your feet while taking Trelegy Ellipta.
7. Know the signs and symptoms of Trelegy Ellipta side effects
Signs and symptoms of side effects include upper respiratory tract infections. If you experience any of these symptoms speak to your doctor for medical advice.
8. Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking
Be sure to tell your doctor about all other medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements, as they can interact with Trelegy Ellipta.
9. Get regular medical checkups
It is important to get regular medical checkups and monitor your medical conditions. Your doctor will monitor your side effects and may adjust your dose of Trelegy Ellipta as needed.
A medical professional has reviewed this article.
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.