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Breo Ellipta (fluticasone furoate and vilanterol trifenatate)

Overview of combination inhalers

Combination inhalers may be prescribed for people with moderate to severe asthma. These inhalers combine a corticosteroid with a long-acting beta2 agonist (LABA). Corticosteroids reduce inflammation, making the airways less sensitive. LABAs relax the muscles in the airways to open them up, making breathing easier. Having the two medications in one inhaler is convenient.

What is Breo Ellipta?

Breo Ellipta is a combination inhaler used once daily for the treatment of asthma in people 18 years and older whose asthma is not well controlled on an inhaled corticosteroid alone. Breo Ellipta combines two medications: fluticasone furoate, an inhaled corticosteroid, and vilanterol, a LABA. Breo Ellipta should not be used to relieve sudden breathing problems and does not replace a rescue inhaler.
Because of the safety risks with a LABA like the one in Breo Ellipta, only patients whose asthma is not adequately controlled on a long-term asthma medication, like an inhaled corticosteroid, or whose disease is severe should be prescribed Breo Ellipta. In addition, once asthma control is achieved and maintained, the patient will be assessed and treatment with Breo Ellipta may be discontinued if asthma control continues.1

What are the ingredients in Breo Ellipta?

The active ingredients in Breo Ellipta are fluticasone furoate and vilanterol.

How does Breo Ellipta work?

Breo Ellipta contains two medications with two different mechanisms of action. The corticosteroid in Breo Ellipta, fluticasone furoate, works as an anti-inflammatory, targeting several different components of the inflammation process. The LABA in Breo Ellipta, vilanterol, relaxes the bronchial muscles (those in the airways). The two medications work together to improve breathing for 24 hours.1

What are the possible side effects of Breo Ellipta?

The most common side effects experienced by people taking Breo Ellipta are upper respiratory infections, oral yeast infections (candidiasis), headache, flu, colds, bronchitis, sinus infections, sore throat, hoarse throat, and cough. Breo Ellipta may cause reduced adrenal function (the hormone secreting glands on top of the kidneys), and cause symptoms such as tiredness, lack of energy, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and low blood pressure.

Rarely, Breo Ellipta may cause serious side effects. LABAs, like vilanterol, have been associated with an increased risk of death related to asthma, as well as hospitalizations due to asthma. Breo Ellipta may also weaken the immune system, increasing the chance of infection. People taking Breo Ellipta should avoid exposure to chickenpox and measles or talk to their doctor right away if they get exposed. Breo Ellipta may worsen existing infections, including tuberculosis (TB), fungal, bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections. Breo Ellipta may cause reduced adrenal function and cause symptoms such as tiredness, lack of energy, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and low blood pressure. People taking Breo Ellipta who experience sudden breathing problems immediately after inhaling the medicine or experience serious allergic reactions, including rash, hives, swelling of the face, mouth, or tongue, should contact their doctor or seek emergency medical care right away. Breo Ellipta may also cause increased blood pressure, a fast or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, nervousness, osteoporosis, eye problems like glaucoma and cataracts, and changes in laboratory blood values, such as sugar and potassium.1,2 This is not an exhaustive list of side effects caused by Breo Ellipta and others may occur. Talk with your doctor or healthcare provider if you experience any new or worsening symptoms while taking Breo Ellipta.

Things to know about Breo Ellipta

  • Breo Ellipta should not be used as a rescue inhaler.
  • People who are allergic to milk proteins or any of the ingredients in Breo Ellipta should not take Breo Ellipta.
  • People taking Breo Ellipta should not take other medicines containing a LABA for any reason.
  • Children and adolescents who use Breo Ellipta may be at an increased risk of being hospitalized for asthma problems.
  • Do not take Breo Ellipta more often than it is prescribed (usually once daily).1,2
  • The safety and efficacy of Breo Ellipta in children and adolescents is not known at this time. Breo Ellipta should not be used by these individuals.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding with Breo Ellipta

The effects of Breo Ellipta on pregnant women and developing babies are not known. In some animal studies, other similar medications have been teratogenic (harmful to developing babies). Because of this, it is not recommended to use Breo Ellipta during pregnancy unless the potential benefit of treatment outweighs any risks to the developing baby. Women who are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant should tell their doctor before starting Breo Ellipta. Women who become pregnant while taking Breo Ellipta should tell their healthcare provider as soon as possible. It is also unknown whether Breo Ellipta can be passed via breast milk, but similar medications have been shown to do so. Women who are breastfeeding or who plan to breastfeed while taking Breo Ellipta should consult their healthcare provider.


Breo Ellipta is for oral inhalation to be used once daily. Rinse your mouth with water after using to help prevent thrush (fungal infection in the mouth or throat). It comes in two dosage strengths: 100 mcg fluticasone furoate and 25 mcg vilanterol, or 200 mcg fluticasone furoate and 25 mcg vilanterol.1 Use Breo Ellipta exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. If you miss a dose of Breo Ellipta, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at a time or more than one dose in a day. If you take too much Breo Ellipta, seek medical attention immediately.1,2

For additional information on Breo Ellipta, read the full prescribing information.

Written by: Sarah O'Brien | Last Reviewed: September 2019.
  1. Breo Ellipta prescribing information. Accessed online on 4/23/2019 at
  2. Breo Ellipta product website. Accessed online on 4/23/2019 at