Incruse Ellipta (Umeclidinium) – Inhalation

What Is Incruse Ellipta?

Incruse Ellipta is an oral inhalation powder used as a maintenance treatment for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). Its main ingredient in powder form is called umeclidinium.

Umeclidinium is in the anticholinergic drug class. Anticholinergics relax the muscles in the lungs to help expand the airways.

Allergens or irritants can cause receptors called muscarinic M3 receptors to turn on in the brain and release acetylcholine, a chemical found throughout the nervous system. Acetylcholine attaches to the muscarinic M3 receptors on multiple airways in the lungs, shrinking the airways and making it harder to breathe. Incruse Ellipta’s main job is to block acetylcholine from attaching to the muscarinic M3 receptors. In doing so, it causes the airway passages to expand.

It is important to note that this medication does not treat intense, acute flare-ups of shortness of breath. You should use your rescue inhaler for those instances.

Incruse Ellipta is only available by prescription.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Umeclidinium

Brand Name(s): Incruse Ellipta

Drug Availability: Prescription

Administration Route: Inhalation

Therapeutic Classification: Respiratory agent

Available Generically: No

Controlled Substance: N/A

Active Ingredient: Umeclidinium

Dosage Form(s): Powder

What Is Incruse Ellipta Used For?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Incruse Ellipta to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other pulmonary disorders to allow for better breathing and a reduction in flare-ups. However, this medication does not take the place of a rescue inhaler for severe flare-ups or shortness of breath.

Other pulmonary disorders that this medication can treat include the following:

How to Take Incruse Ellipta

This medication comes in a powder form to be administered through an inhaler as directed by your healthcare provider. Do not use more than one puff once daily. It is important to take this medication at the same time each day. If you start to feel well, continue to take this medication as your healthcare provider has told you.

Instructions for use include the following:

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

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

The inhaler has a built-in indicator that will turn red when there are fewer than 10 doses in the inhaler left. Do not take the inhaler apart, wash it, or put it in water. Keep it clean by wiping the mouthpiece with a dry tissue or cloth. This inhaler should also be used independently of a spacer.

Storage

Store Incruse Ellipta at room temperature between 68 degrees F and 77 degrees F and in a cool, dry place away from direct heat or sunlight. This medication should be kept safe away from children and pets to reduce the risk of accidental consumption.

When discarding this medication, throw away any part unused after six weeks or when the indicator shows zero. Do not flush this medication down the drain. Talk to your pharmacist if you have additional questions regarding discarding this medication. It is important to pay attention to when you have less than 10 doses remaining in your inhaler. When the counter displays red, it serves as a reminder to refill your medication.

How Long Does Incruse Ellipta Take to Work?

Incruse Ellipta takes about five to 15 minutes for the medication to reach its effect in your bloodstream, but it may take a few days to see your symptoms begin to improve.

What Are the Side Effects of Incruse 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 pharmacist or a healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Incruse Ellipta include:

  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Cough
  • Mouth and throat pain
  • Muscle pain

It is important that you do not discontinue therapy unless experiencing severe symptoms. Do not stop therapy without the guidance of your healthcare provider, as symptoms may occur or worsen.

Severe Side Effects

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

  • Serious allergic reactions, such as rash, hives, and swelling of the face, mouth, or tongue
  • Sudden breathing problems
  • Blurred visions
  • New or worsening narrow-angle glaucoma
  • Trouble passing urine
  • Mood or behavioral changes

Report Side Effects

Incruse 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 Incruse 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

There are limited data concerning Incruse Ellipta use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. However, talking with the healthcare provider who prescribed it to you is recommended to weigh the potential benefits vs. risks.

Incruse Ellipta is not intended for use in children due to the lack of data surrounding its safety and efficacy in pediatric patients.

Missed Dose

It is important that you take this medication as directed. If you miss a dose of Incruse Ellipta, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If you are close to the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your normal dosing time. Do not take two doses at the same time and avoid extra doses.

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

There has been no human overdose data reported with Incruse Ellipta. However, high doses of umeclidinium, the main ingredient in Incruse Ellipta, can lead to anticholinergic adverse effects, which closely resemble common side effects such as:

  • Dry mouth
  • Urinary retention
  • Constipation

Treatment of an overdose of Incruse Ellipta consists of discontinuing this medication along with an approved symptomatic and/or supportive therapy.

What Happens If I Overdose on Incruse Ellipta?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Incruse Ellipta, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222). If you believe an overdose has occurred, it is important to show or tell what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

If someone collapses or stops breathing after taking Incruse 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. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and 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 atropine (eg, Atreza®) or similar inhaled medicines, such as aclidinium (eg, Tudorza® Pressair®), ipratropium (eg, Atrovent®, Atrovent® HFA), or tiotropium (eg, Spiriva®).

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).

Check with your doctor right away if you have decrease in urine volume, decrease in the frequency of urination, difficulty in passing urine, or painful urination.

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 Incruse Ellipta?

You should not use Incruse Ellipta if you have:

  • Severe hypersensitivity to milk proteins
  • Hypersensitivity to umeclidinium or any product component
  • Rapidly deteriorating or potentially life threatening episodes of COPD

There have also been reports of allergic reactions in people with severe milk protein allergies to other powder products containing lactose.

What Other Medications Interact With Incruse Ellipta?

Drugs interactions that occur with Incruse Ellipta can increase the risk of anticholinergic side effects, such as:

  • Urinary retention
  • Tachycardia
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth

Incruse Ellipta should never be used with:

  • Other anticholinergics
  • Antihistamines, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Claritin (loratadine), and Zyrtec (cetirizine)
  • Some bronchodilators, such as Atrovent (ipratropium) and Spiriva (tiotropium)

It is important to check and see if you have duplicate inhalers that may be the same drug with different brand names.

What Medications Are Similar?

Other medications available for the treatment and long-term maintenance of COPD and other pulmonary conditions include:

  • Spiriva (tiotropium)
  • Tudorza Pressair (aclidinium)
  • Seebri Neohaler (glycopyrrolate)
  • Lonhala Magnair (glycopyrrolate)

The listed medications are part of the anticholinergic drug class and should not be taken with Incruse Ellipta. If you have any questions or concerns, always talk to your pharmacist or healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do I need to know while taking Incruse Ellipta?

    It is important that your healthcare providers, such as your pharmacist, specialists, and nurses, know that you have started taking this medication. Your healthcare provider should also be mindful of any other medications you may be taking, such as prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any allergies to milk.

  • What side effects should I contact my healthcare provider about immediately?

    Although severe side effects are rare with this medication, some people do experience the following side effects below and it is important to call your healthcare provider or seek medical attention immediately:

    • Allergic reactions: Rash, hives, or swelling of the face, mouth, and tongue
    • Trouble passing urine 
    • Change in vision
    • Any trouble breathing right after the first dose
  • Can I travel with Incruse Ellipta?

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

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

    The product label did not require you to rinse your mouth after using Incruse Ellipta, as it doesn’t contain a corticosteroid. However, 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 Incruse Ellipta.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Incruse Ellipta?

You can still stay healthy and improve your quality of life while being diagnosed with COPD. Although it can be challenging to navigate new medications, lifestyle modifications, and coping with your diagnosis, you are not alone.

There are many ways to successfully live with COPD that involve incorporating healthy lifestyle behaviors and coping emotionally, physically, and socially with your disease. It's important to watch out for any emerging or worsening health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or any other condition that might require additional treatment.

Here are some tips for staying healthy while taking Incruse Ellipta:

  • Take your medication as prescribed
  • Exercise routinely
  • Eliminate smoking
  • Performing breathing techniques
  • Stay up to date on vaccinations, such as for pneumonia, influenza, and COVID-19

In addition to your prescribed medication regimen, therapies such as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including yoga and acupuncture, may also prove beneficial.

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 professional. 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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4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Gosens R, Zaagsma J, Meurs H, Halayko AJ. Muscarinic receptor signaling in the pathophysiology of asthma and COPD. Respiratory Research. 2006;7(1):73. doi:10.1186/1465-9921-7-73

  3. Food and Drug Administration. Incruse Ellipta label.

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