Serevent is used to prevent asthma attacks and works by relaxing muscles in the airways to improve breathing. Serevent has also been used to treat obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It will not stop an asthma attack that has already begun. This drug was manufactured by GlaxoKlineSmith and was approved by the FDA in 1994.

In 2006, the FDA announced that the Serevent label would carry a black box warning informing patients about the increased risk of asthma-related death. Severent’s label had a previous black box warning that advised of life-threatening asthma attacks that occurred after taking the drug. When compared to a placebo, one study showed that patients taking Severent were three times more likely to suffer from a severe asthma attack or death. The FDA stated that while Severent significantly decreased the amount of asthma attacks, the recurring attacks were much more severe.

Serious side effects may include:

  • Chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, tremors, shaking, or restless feeling
  • Skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness
  • Wheezing, choking, or other breathing problems after using this medication
  • Worsening asthma symptoms

Less serious Serevent side effects may include:

  • Headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, or insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Dry mouth or throat irritation
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