Anoro Ellipta (Umeclidinium and Vilanterol) - Inhalation

What Is Anoro Ellipta?

Anoro Ellipta (umeclidinium and vilanterol) is a prescription inhalation powder drug used as a long-term maintenance treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It combines two active medicines into one inhaler: an anticholinergic (umeclidinium) and a long-acting beta-2 adrenergic agonist (LABA) (vilanterol).

Anticholinergics like umeclidinium block the action of a chemical messenger called acetylcholine, which is responsible for communication between the nerves, muscles, and organs in your body. Umeclidinium helps relax and open your airway muscles. As a LABA, vilanterol similarly relaxes the lungs, allowing the airways to open. The effects of LABA medications can last about 12 hours, depending on which inhaler you use. This provides relief from some of the classic symptoms of COPD, such as wheezing, cough, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

Anoro Ellipta does not treat intense, acute flare-ups of shortness of breath. You should use your rescue inhaler for those instances.

This medication comes in a powder formulation for oral inhalation.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Umeclidinium and vilanterol

Brand Name(s): Anoro Ellipta

Drug Availability: Prescription

Administration Route: Inhalation

Therapeutic Classification: Respiratory agent

Available Generically: No

Controlled Substance: N/A

Active Ingredient: Umeclidinium and vilanterol

Dosage Form(s): Powder

What Is Anoro Ellipta Used For?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Anoro Ellipta for the chronic treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Anoro Ellipta should not be used to:

  • Relieve acute shortness of breath (bronchospasm)
  • Treat asthma, as the use of LABAs without inhaled corticosteroids for asthma, may increase the risk of asthma-related death

How to Take Anoro Ellipta

You should always follow the directions from your healthcare provider. Do not use this medication unless you understand how to use it correctly. Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions.

Use Anoro Ellipta as prescribed, usually one inhalation once a day. Do not stop using your medication unless told by your healthcare provider, even if you feel better. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take more than one inhalation per day.

If you happen to be using more than one inhaler, ask your healthcare provider which inhaler should you use first. Be careful not to open and close the cover without inhaling the dose, as doing so results in a lost dose.

Some tips for taking care of your inhaler include:

  • Do not take your inhaler apart, wash it, or put it in water.
  • Clean the mouthpiece with a dry tissue or cloth
  • Use independently of a spacer

When using your inhaler, remember the following:

  • Your inhaler contains 30 doses. You will hear a click each time you open the cover of the inhaler.
  • Slide the cover down to expose the mouthpiece, and you should hear a “click.” The counter will count down by one number.
  • Breathe out fully while holding the inhaler away from your mouth. 
  • Put the mouthpiece between your lips, and close your lips firmly around it.
  • Take one steady and deep breath through your mouth. Do not breathe in through your nose.
  • Remove the inhaler from your mouth and hold your breath for about five seconds (or as long as comfortable for you). 
  • Breathe out slowly and gently. Do not exhale into the inhaler.

Get a refill when you have fewer than 10 doses remaining in your inhaler. The left half of the counter shows red as a reminder to get a refill when fewer than 10 doses are remaining. After you have inhaled the last dose, the counter will show "0".

Storage

Store Anoro Ellipta at room temperature in a dry place away from moisture, heat, or sunlight. Keep out of reach of children or pets to prevent accidental consumption. Keep the unopened inhaler in the original foil tray until ready to use. Discard Anoro Ellipta six weeks after opening the foil tray or after you use all of the doses.

How Long Does Anoro Ellipta Take to Work?

Generally, Anoro Ellipta is absorbed in your body quickly. However, it will not work fast enough to treat acute shortness of breath. You will not see the effect unless you continuously use it on a daily basis.

What Are the Side Effects of Anoro Ellipta?

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at fda.gov/medwatch or 1-800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects of Anoro Ellipta include:

  • Sore throat or other common cold symptoms
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Muscle pain/spasm
  • Neck pain
  • Chest tightness
  • Nose or throat irritation (respiratory infection)

Severe Side Effects

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction like rash, hives, or difficulty breathing
  • Worsening breathing problems
  • Change in vision, eye pain, or irritation
  • Irregular heartbeat (palpitation)
  • Change in urination
  • Chest pain
  • Tremor or anxiety

Long-Term Side Effects

Anoro Ellipta is relatively well-tolerated and the long-term side effects are rare. If left untreated, the side effects listed above can turn into long-term issues.

Report Side Effects

Anoro Ellipta may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How Much Anoro Ellipta Should I Take?

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For inhalation dosage form (powder):
    • For maintenance treatment of COPD:
      • Adults—One inhalation once a day. Do not take more than one inhalation every 24 hours.
      • Children—Use is not recommended.

Modifications

If you have kidney problems, you can still use this medication and no dose adjustment is needed. However, if you have liver problems, you can still use this medication but may need to discuss it with your healthcare provider before starting.

There are limited data concerning Anoro Ellipta's use in children or while pregnant or breastfeeding. However, it is recommended to talk with your prescriber to weigh the benefits vs risks of using this medication in these circumstances.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of Anoro Ellipta, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take more than one dose per day. Take your next dose at your usual time. Do not take two doses at one time.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Anoro Ellipta?

Some common overdose symptoms may include but are not limited to:

  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Fast heart rate
  • Tremor
  • Nervousness
  • Worsening shortness of breath

Do not use other medicines that contain a LABA or an anticholinergic with Anoro Ellipta for any reason. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if any of your other medicines are LABA or anticholinergic medicines. Tell all of your health care providers about your medication history.

What Happens If I Overdose on Anoro Ellipta?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Anoro Ellipta, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

If someone collapses or stops breathing after taking Anoro Ellipta, call 911 immediately.

Precautions

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.

Tell your doctor if you are also using any other medicine for your COPD. Your doctor may want you to use it only during a severe COPD attack. Follow your doctor's instructions on how you should take your medicine.

This medicine should not be used if you are having a severe COPD attack, or if symptoms of a COPD attack has already started. Your doctor may prescribe another medicine for you to use in case of an acute COPD attack. If the other medicine does not work as well, tell your doctor right away.

Talk with your doctor or get medical care right away if:

  • Your symptoms do not improve after using this medicine for 1 week or if they become worse.
  • Your short-acting inhaler does not seem to work as well as it used to and you need it more often than normal (eg, you use 1 whole canister of the short-acting inhaler in 8 weeks time, or you need to use 4 or more inhalations of the short-acting inhaler for 2 or more days in a row).
  • You have a big decrease in your peak flow when measured as directed by your doctor.

This medicine should not be used together with similar inhaled medicines, such as arformoterol (Brovana®), budesonide/formoterol (Symbicort®), formoterol (Foradil®, Perforomist®), indacaterol (Onbrez®), or salmeterol (Serevent®).

This medicine may increase the risk of worsening asthma, which may lead to hospitalization, intubation, and death in patients with asthma who take this medicine without an inhaled steroid medicine. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this.

This medicine may cause paradoxical bronchospasm, which means your breathing or wheezing will get worse. Paradoxical bronchospasm may be life-threatening. Check with your doctor right away if you have coughing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or wheezing after using this medicine.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis and angioedema, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after using this medicine.

Check with your doctor right away if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

This medicine may cause heart or blood vessel problems, including heart rhythm problems. Check with your doctor right away if you have chest pain or tightness, decreased urine output, dilated neck veins, extreme fatigue, irregular heartbeat, swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs, troubled breathing, or weight gain.

Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) may occur while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have more than one of the following symptoms: decreased urine, dry mouth, increased thirst, loss of appetite, mood changes, muscle pain or cramps, nausea or vomiting, numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips, seizures, uneven heartbeat, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic and notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests, check with your doctor.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Anoro Ellipta?

Anoro Ellipta should not be used in the treatment of asthma. The use of LABA without inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) for asthma may increase your risk of asthma-related death. However, there is no data showing an increased risk of death in people with COPD.

Anoro Ellipta is not meant to be used to relieve acute shortness of breath. It is used for the long-term treatment of COPD to prevent worsening symptoms.

What Other Medications Interact With Anoro Ellipta?

Like many other drugs, Anoro Ellipta is broken down by a protein (enzyme) family known as CYP450. Some drugs may interfere with this housekeeping protein, changing how the drug is absorbed in the body. You might experience more side effects when your body absorbs too much of the active drug. On the other hand, you might delay the treatment effect if your body is not receiving enough of the drug.

Some interactions include:

  • CYP3A4 inhibitors, such as Norvir (ritonavir), Biaxin XL (clarithromycin), and indinavir, can increase the side effects of Anoro Ellipta.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, such as Marplan (isocarboxazid), and tricyclic antidepressants, including amitriptyline and Silenor (doxepin), may increase the risk of heart problems.
  • Beta-blockers, such as Coreg or Coreg CR (carvedilol) and Tenormin or Tenoretic (atenolol), may block the effects of LABAs.
  • Other anticholinergics, such as Transderm Scop (scopolamine) or Cogentin (benztropine), may increase the side effects of Anoro Ellipta.
  • Other bronchodilators, such as Performist or Foradil (formoterol), may lead to overdosage if taken with Anoro Ellipta.

If you take Anoro Ellipta, talk with your healthcare provider to understand the risks vs benefits of taking any of the other medications listed above.

What Medications Are Similar?

Anoro Ellipta is a combination inhaler with a long-acting anticholinergic and a long-acting beta-adrenergic agonist (LABA). Similar combination inhalers include:

  • Bevespi Aerosphere (glycopyrrolate and formoterol)
  • Duaklir Pressair (aclidinium and formoterol)
  • Stiolto Respimat (tiotropium and olodaterol)

These medications slightly differ in the types of devices. Your healthcare provider may prescribe you a regular inhaler or a combination inhaler for your long-term COPD management, depending on your symptoms and history of worsening symptoms that may or may not cause a hospital visit. Ask your pharmacist or a healthcare provider if you have questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I travel with Anoro Ellipta?

    There is no current TSA restriction for traveling on a plane with Anoro Ellipta. It is important to get your medication refilled before traveling.

  • Do you have to rinse your mouth after using Anoro Ellipta?

    You do not need to rinse your mouth after using Anoro Ellipta, as it doesn’t have a corticosteroid. In general, you should rinse your mouth after using an inhaled corticosteroid (e.g., fluticasone) to prevent oral fungal infections such as thrush. However, this is not a concern with Anoro Ellipta.

  • Can I use Anoro Ellipta and albuterol together?

    Anoro Ellipta is used long-term to prevent COPD worsening symptoms. If you have acute breathing symptoms caused by COPD, you should use a short-acting beta-2 adrenergic agonist such as albuterol (e.g., ProAir, Proventil, and Ventolin). Ask your healthcare provider how you should use your albuterol inhaler for your COPD.

  • How much does Anoro Ellipta cost if I don't have insurance?

    Anoro Ellipta is available as a brand-name drug only. If you pay cash, the cost of Anoro Ellipta may cost around $450 for one inhaler (with 60 blisters of 62.5 milligrams of umeclidinium/25 micrograms of vilanterol). However, this price can vary based on the pharmacy and location. If you are paying the full cash price, the manufacturer offers online discount coupon options.

    If you have prescription insurance, check with your insurance company for the copay cost. If the commercial insurance copay is too expensive, you may be eligible for the copay coupon card supplied by the manufacturer. However, this coupon is not valid for any government beneficiaries including those eligible for or enrolled in Medicare. Present the coupon to your pharmacist for each refill.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Anoro Ellipta?

Always follow the instructions provided by a healthcare team member when using your Anoro Ellipta inhaler. Take your medication as prescribed; do not stop taking it without consulting your healthcare provider, even if you start feeling better.

Make sure to tell your healthcare provider:

  • Your medication history and if any medication changes occur
  • If you experience worsening symptoms (call 911 if your exacerbations are severe)
  • If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding

If you have COPD, you can also make lifestyle modifications to help stay healthy and prevent the disease from worsening:

  • Exercise daily as tolerated.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Perform breathing techniques.
  • Stay up-to-date on vaccinations, such as pneumonia, flu, and COVID-19.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.

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6 Sources
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