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What should I know about salmeterol before taking it?

Salmeterol has been linked to an increased risk of asthma-related death in people with severe breathing problems who are not taking other asthma medications, specifically an inhaled corticosteroid. Before taking salmeterol, be sure to inform your doctor if you have liver problems, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, seizures, an adrenal gland tumor, an overactive thyroid or low blood potassium levels. Some medications can interact negatively with salmeterol. Among others, these include: phenelzine, nefazodone, telithromycin, amitriptyline, entacapone, diuretics, COMT inhibitors, MAOIs, antidepressants, beta-blockers, ketoconazole or other azole antifungal medications, antibiotics like clarithromycin, ritonavir and other HIV protease inhibitors, fluticasone/salmeterol, propranolol and formoterol.

Be sure not to overdose on this drug, and to talk to your doctor about how to use salmeterol along with other, fast-acting asthma medications.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, your doctor may advise you not to take salmeterol. You should also inform your doctor if you are allergic to any foods (especially milk protein), medicines or other substances--including salmeterol--before taking this medication. Also, tell your doctor about any vitamins and herbs that you are taking because they, too, may interact negatively with salmeterol. If you experience any unusual side effects while taking salmeterol, contact your doctor immediately.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.