PDR Health


What is Serevent?

Serevent (salmeterol) is a bronchodilator. It works by relaxing muscles in the airways to improve breathing.

Serevent is used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


Health Benefits 

Serevent can provide short-term symptom relief for asthma and COPD. It may also help to prevent asthma attacks and COPD flare-ups.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of Serevent are headache, dizziness, shaking (tremor), and nausea.

Serious side effects of Serevent include allergic reactions, irregular heartbeat, and worsening asthma or COPD symptoms.

Dosage and Administration

Serevent is available as an inhalation powder and an inhalation aerosol.

It is usually inhaled two or four times per day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use Serevent exactly as directed.

If you use Serevent more than once daily, space your doses evenly throughout the day. If you use Serevent only once daily, use it in the morning.

Do not use more Serevent than recommended by your doctor. An overdose of Serevent can be fatal.


Serevent may interact with other medications, including steroids, beta blockers, and tricyclic antidepressants. Tell your doctor all medications you take.

Mechanism of Action

Serevent works by binding to and activating beta2-adrenergic receptors. This results in the relaxation of airway smooth muscle and increased airflow to the lungs.


Serevent is rapidly and completely absorbed following inhalation. The peak effect occurs within 30 minutes and lasts for at least 6 hours.

Alternatives to Serevent

Alternatives to Serevent include other bronchodilators, such as albuterol (Proair HFA, Ventolin HFA), ipratropium (Atrovent), and tiotropium (Spiriva).

These drugs work in similar ways to Serevent and may be used to treat the same conditions.

Albuterol and ipratropium are also available as combination inhalers with Serevent (Advair, Anoro Ellipta, Breo Ellipta).

Tiotropium is available as a once-daily inhaler.

Is Albuterol more effective than Serevent?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Both albuterol and Serevent are effective bronchodilators with a rapid onset of action.

Albuterol may be more effective than Serevent in some people, while Serevent may be more effective in others. It is important to work with your doctor to find the bronchodilator that works best for you.

Albuterol and Serevent are both available as generic drugs. Generic drugs are often less expensive than brand-name drugs.

How long does it take to work?

Serevent begins working within 30 minutes. The peak effect occurs within 2 to 3 hours.

How long does it last?

The effects of Serevent last for at least 6 hours.