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Hi all. Reading an article about bronchodilators in the newsletter email has prompted me to ask this question.

Does anyone have cardiac issues relating to formoterol use?

I began a dual inhaler a few years ago. That one was Duoresp Spiromax. Last February, it was changed to Fostair. Both contained formoterol.

2 weeks after starting the first dual inhaler, I began with excessive ectopic beats (measured by Holter monitor at 14,000 a day). They have continued at that rate since May 2018.

As well as ectopics, I have also gone on to develop both atrial flutter and fibrillation. Prior to May 18, I had no cardiac problems at all.

I've now had 4 ablations (3 radio frequency and 1 cryo) and 2 cardioversions.

After a great deal of discussion and pressure from me, my doctors have now had me step down to a steroid only inhaler, (Qvar) to see how I cope. That was 3 weeks ago and my asthma (non-eosinophilic) doesn't seem to have been affected adversely. In the last 5 days, I haven't been aware of any ectopics at all, although I have sensed my heartbeat quite strongly at times, almost as though I've been running.

I wanted to post this, in case anyone else has had a similar problem but not progressed beyond it.

Take care and stay safe


  1. Hi Trev, and thanks for sharing your story/experience here. We appreciate you lending your support within the community and also providing the details related to how you're managing with the medication.
    It sounds like you've brought this under better control without the cardiac effects just be steering clear of the Formoterol. It also sounds like you have endured and tolerated quite a bit to reach this better level of control. Have the doctors you've been working with gotten more in line with your suggestions?
    Wishing you well,
    Leon (site moderator

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