Breo Ellipta

Also called fluticasone and vilanterol

Key points about Breo Ellipta

  • Breo Ellipta is used to treat asthma and COPD.
  • Breo Ellipta is a combination inhaler that contains 2 medicines (fluticasone and vilanterol) mixed in a single inhaler. 
  • Find out how to use Breo Ellipta correctly and possible side effects.
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Breo Ellipta contains 2 medicines (fluticasone and vilanterol) mixed in 1 inhaler. The combination is used to treat the symptoms of asthma and COPD and prevent them from returning. 

  • Fluticasone reduces swelling and irritation in the airways in your lungs. It belongs to a group of medicines known as inhaled corticosteroids. 
  • Vilanterol relaxes your airways, making breathing easier. 

Breo Ellipta is available as a dry powder inhaler. The powder is breathed in through your mouth using the inhaler device, so the medicine can go straight into your airways and lungs and very little of the medicine gets to the rest of your body.

Breo Ellipta is a long-term treatment and doesn't give immediate relief from sudden breathing problems, eg, wheezing, tight chest and shortness of breath

  • To treat these symptoms, use your ‘reliever’ medicine, eg, salbutamol (Respigen, SalAir, Ventolin) or terbutaline (Bricanyl Turbuhaler).
  • Remember to continue using your Breo Ellipta inhaler each day.
  • To work well, Breo Ellipta must be used once daily, every day.

  • The dose of Breo Ellipta is 1 inhalation once daily.
  • Keep using your inhaler every day. Don't stop using it, even if you feel better. Since asthma and COPD are long-term (ongoing) conditions, Breo Ellipta will need to be used every day.
  • Try to use your inhaler at the same time each day, to help you to remember to use it regularly.
  • Fluticasone can cause a sore throat and hoarse voice – rinse your mouth after each use to prevent this.
  • If you miss a dose, you can take it as soon as you remember. But if it's nearly time for your next dose, just take your next dose at the right time.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much to use, how often to use it and any special instructions.

To get the most benefit from your inhaler, it's important to use the correct technique. Ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse to show you how to use your Ellipta inhaler. The video below shows you how to use an Ellipta inhaler. 'Ellipta' is the name for the type of inhaler device, there are different names for each Ellipta depending on the medicines inside the inhaler.

  • It's important to know the name and colour of your Ellipta, eg, Anoro, Incruse, Breo or Trelegy.
  • Your Ellipta may be a different colour to the one in the video below. Read more about understanding your medicines.

Video: How to use an Ellipta inhaler


Healthify He Puna Waiora & Auckland District Health Board, NZ, 2018

Using your Ellipta inhaler

  • Remove: Take the inhaler out of the foil packing.
  • Open: Pull back the mouth piece cover until you hear a click. Hold the inhaler upright at all times. Breathe out away from the inhaler.
  • Inhale your dose: Press your lips around the mouthpiece without covering the air vents on either side. Begin to breathe in rapidly and deeply through your mouth. Hold your breath for up to 10 seconds. Breathe out slowly. Close the mouth piece cover.

Cleaning and storing your Ellipta inhaler: Clean your inhaler once a week by wiping the mouthpiece with a clean dry tissue. Do not wash the mouthpiece or allow it to get wet when cleaning. Close the inhaler when you're not using it. Store it in a cool dry place, away from heat and moisture.

When to start a new inhaler: There's a window on the front of your Ellipta inhaler called a dose counter. When it turns red it's time to get a new inhaler.

Here are some things to know when you're using Breo Ellipta inhaler. Other things may be important as well, so ask your healthcare provider what you should know about.

  • Rinse your mouth with water after using Breo Ellipta: Breo Ellipta contains fluticasone, which can cause a sore throat, hoarse voice and thrush in your mouth. Some of the medicine may stay behind in your mouth after each dose so, after each use, rinse your mouth with water and spit it out so no medicine stays in your mouth. This reduces the chance of side effects.
  • Breo Ellipta is a dry powder that contains lactose: It's safe to use Breo Ellipta if you're lactose intolerant. However, if you have been diagnosed with a milk protein allergy (hypersensitivity) you should talk to your healthcare provider before you use Breo Ellipta.
  • Keep track of your doses so you don't run out: Breo Ellipta has a dose counter so you know exactly how many doses are left in the inhaler and you will know when you need to get a new one. Your inhaler has 30 doses. The dose counter counts down by 1 each time you open the cover. If you open and close the cover of the Breo Ellipta® inhaler without inhaling the medicine, you will lose that dose. When fewer than 10 doses are left, the counter shows red, so then it's time to contact your doctor for a new inhaler. When it shows ‘0’ it will be empty.
  • Expiry date: Breo Ellipta comes in a foil package. Once you've opened the package, the inhaler should be used within 1 month. Write down the date you open it so you know.
  • Taking other medicines: Breo Ellipta may interact with some medicines, herbal supplements and rongoā Māori, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting Breo Ellipta and before starting any new products.
  • Pregnancy: Breo Ellipta isn't usually recommended for use during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you're pregnant, if you think you may be pregnant or if you're planning to have a baby,
  • Check your inhaler technique regularly: It's also important to know how to use your inhalers correctly, otherwise you may not be getting enough medicine into your lungs. Ask your healthcare provider to watch you use your inhaler so you can be sure you're doing it properly.
  • If your inhaler doesn't seem to be working as well, check with your healthcare team. Some people with COPD may not have enough strength to breathe in to use an Ellipta inhaler. Your healthcare team may be able to check this by measuring your inspiratory flow rate in the clinic or hospital.

Like all medicines Breo Ellipta can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Change in voice (hoarse voice)
  • Different taste in your mouth
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Cough
  • These are quite common when you first start using your inhaler, and usually go away with time. Rinse your mouth after each use.
  • Tell your doctor if they bother you.
  • Signs of oral thrush (a fungal infection in your mouth) such as a very sore tongue or mouth, with white sores on your tongue or in your mouth
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Feeling shaky
  • Nervousness
  • Tremor
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Problems sleeping
  • These are quite common when you first start using your inhaler, and usually go away with time.
  • Tell your doctor if they bother you.
  • Stomach or back pain
  • Tell your doctor.
  • Changes in your heartbeat (faster)
  • Chest pain
  • Blurred vision or changes to your eyesight
  • Tell your doctor or phone Healthline 0800 611 116.
  • Sudden worsening of breathing problems and you are using your inhaler very often
  • Tell your doctor or phone Healthline 0800 611 116.

Read more about medicines and side effects and reporting a reaction you think might be a side effect

Breo Ellipta(external link) Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets, NZ


  1. Fluticasone furoate + vilanterol(external link) New Zealand Formulary

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Credits: Healthify editorial team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

Reviewed by: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland

Last reviewed: