3.1.4 Combination inhalers

All combination inhalers included in the formulary are included as branded products. Generic prescribing of inhalers should be avoided as this might lead to patients being given an unfamiliar inhaler device which they are not able to use properly; in addition, not all inhalers with the same primary ingredient are interchangeable due to differences in particle size.

Different products and doses are licensed for different age groups and some may be applicable only to older children or adults (aged 18 years and over). Prior to prescribing, the relevant Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) should be checked.

Patient preference should be considered when prescribing treatments. It is essential that patients can demonstrate the proper inhaler technique when prescribing an inhaler device; recheck patient technique at each visit to ensure continued correct use of the inhaler. Adherence to treatment regimens should also be checked. When discussing inhaled treatment options, consideration should also be given to the environmental impact of inhalers.

NICE has produced a patient decision aid to help people with asthma and their healthcare professionals discuss their options for inhaler devices (available here); it is suitable for use by people aged 17 years and over, and many of the considerations are also applicable to patients with COPD.

Advice on how to obtain placebo inhalers can be obtained from the NHS Devon CCG Medicines Optimisation Team, please contact: d-ccg.medicinesoptimisation@nhs.net

For information on inhaled corticosteroid dose comparisons in asthma see here

pMDI = Pressurised metered dose inhaler; DPI = Dry powder inhaler; SMI = Soft mist inhaler; BDP = Beclometasone dipropionate

When prescribing a pressurised MDI, remind patients to check and remove the mouthpiece cover fully, shake the inhaler to remove loose objects that may not be visible, and check the inside and outside of the mouthpiece are clear before inhaling a dose. To prevent objects entering the mouthpiece during storage, the mouthpiece cover should be replaced securely after use. See MHRA Drug Safety Alert July 2018 for further details.

Inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) / Long-acting beta2 agonists (LABA)

BDP and formoterol fumarate

Fostair NEXThaler

(combination of BDP (extrafine) and formoterol fumarate)

  • Dry powder inhalation 100 micrograms / 6 micrograms / metered inhalation (DPI) (£29.32 = 120 inhalations)
  • Dry powder inhalation 200 micrograms / 6 micrograms / metered inhalation (DPI) (£29.32 = 120 inhalations)

Indications and dose

  • Asthma, adults (aged ≥ 18 years):
    • 100 micrograms / 6 micrograms: one or two inhalations twice daily
    • 200 micrograms / 6 micrograms: two inhalations twice daily
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (aged ≥ 18 years):
    • 100 micrograms / 6 micrograms: two inhalations twice daily

Notes

  1. Fostair NEXThaler contains extrafine beclometasone particles and is more potent than traditional beclometasone dipropionate CFC-free inhalers (Clenil)
  2. The manufacturer states that 100 micrograms of BDP extrafine in Fostair NEXThaler are equivalent to 250 micrograms of BDP in a non-extrafine formulation.
  3. Fostair NEXThaler 100/6 may be used as regular maintenance treatment and as needed in response to asthma symptoms (MART regimen), refer to Asthma - adult treatment guidance, Initial add on therapy for further details
  4. In adults with asthma, high dose ICS (such as Fostair NEXThaler 200/6 - 2 puffs twice a day; see Inhaled Corticosteroid Dose Comparison in Asthma) should only be used after referring the patient to secondary care
  5. DPIs have a significantly lower carbon footprint than pMDIs and BAIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers)
Luforbec
(combination of BDP (extrafine) and formoterol fumarate)
  • Aerosol inhalation 100 micrograms / 6 micrograms / metered dose (pMDI) (£20.52 = 120 doses)

Indications and dose

Notes

  1. Luforbec contains extrafine beclometasone particles and is more potent than traditional beclometasone dipropionate CFC-free inhalers (Clenil)
  2. The manufacturer states that 100 micrograms of BDP extrafine in Luforbec are equivalent to 250 micrograms of BDP in a non-extrafine formulation.
  3. Luforbec 100/6 may be used as regular maintenance treatment and as needed in response to asthma symptoms (MART regimen), refer to Asthma - adult treatment guidance, Initial add on therapy for further details
  4. pMDIs have a significantly higher carbon footprint than DPIs and SMIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers). For this reason pMDIs (with the exception of salbutamol and ipratropium) are not generally considered first line options
Fostair 100/6 pMDI (existing patients only)

Aerosol inhalation BDP extrafine 100 micrograms / formoterol 6 micrograms / metered dose (pMDI) (£29.32 = 120 doses)

  • Fostair 100/6 pMDI has been removed from the formulary due to its high acquisition cost in comparison to Luforbec 100/6 pMDI. No new patients should be prescribed Fostair 100/6 pMDI. For existing patients, continued prescribing is accepted until the next review when the patient should be switched to Fostair NEXThaler or Luforbec 100/6 pMDI if clinically appropriate.
Fostair 200/6 pMDI

(combination of BDP (extrafine) and formoterol fumarate)

  • Aerosol inhalation 200 micrograms / 6 micrograms / metered dose (pMDI) (£29.32 = 120 doses)

Indications and dose

  • Asthma, adults (maintenance therapy, aged ≥ 18 years):
    • Two inhalations twice daily

Notes

  1. Fostair contains extra-fine beclometasone particles and is more potent than traditional beclometasone dipropionate CFC-free inhalers (Clenil)
  2. The manufacturer states that 100 micrograms of BDP extrafine in Fostair are equivalent to 250 micrograms of BDP in a non-extrafine formulation.
  3. Fostair 100/6 has been removed from the formulary due to its high acquisition cost in comparison to Luforbec. Patients currently prescribed Fostair 100/6 should be switched to Fostair NEXThaler or Luforbec inhaler if clinically appropriate.
  4. Fostair 200/6 was reclassified to an amber formulary medicine on 7th Match 2022 as high dose corticosteroid inhalers (such as Fostair 200/6 – 2 puffs twice a day; see Inhaled Corticosteroid Dose Comparison in Asthma) should only be used after referral to secondary care. If Fostair 200/6 was recommended by a specialist before 7th March 2022 the GP does not need to re-refer the patient and should continue to prescribe Fostair 200/6 in line with the specialist’s recommendation
  5. pMDIs have a significantly higher carbon footprint than DPIs and SMIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers). For this reason, pMDIs (with the exception of salbutamol and ipratropium) are not generally considered first line options.

Budesonide and formoterol fumarate

Fobumix Easyhaler

(combination of budesonide and formoterol fumarate)

  • Dry powder inhalation 80 micrograms / 4.5 micrograms / metered dose (DPI) (£21.50 = 120 doses)
  • Dry powder inhalation 160 micrograms / 4.5 micrograms / metered dose (DPI) (£21.50 = 120 doses; £10.75 = 60 doses)
  • Dry powder inhalation 320 micrograms / 9 micrograms / metered dose (DPI) (£21.50 = 60 doses)

Indications and dose:

  • Asthma, adults (maintenance therapy, aged ≥ 18 years)
    • 80 micrograms / 4.5 micrograms: one or two inhalations twice daily
    • 160 micrograms / 4.5 micrograms: one to two inhalations twice daily
    • 320 micrograms / 9 micrograms: one inhalation twice daily
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (adults):
    • 160 micrograms / 4.5 micrograms: two inhalations twice daily
    • 320 micrograms / 9 micrograms: one inhalation twice daily

Notes:

  1. Fobumix Easyhaler is licensed for use in adults aged 18 years and over and is available in three strengths: 80/4.5, 160/4.5 and 320/9. These strengths are equivalent to the Symbicort Turbohaler 100/6, 200/6 and 400/12 preparations respectively. Fobumix Easyhaler strengths refer to the delivered dose whereas the Symbicort Turbohaler strengths refer to the total dose contained in each actuation.
  2. Fobumix Easyhaler 80/4.5 and the 160/4.5 may be used as regular maintenance treatment and as needed in response to asthma symptoms (MART regimen), refer to Asthma - adult treatment guidance, Initial add on therapy for further details
  3. DPIs have a significantly lower carbon footprint than pMDIs and BAIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers)
Symbicort Turbohaler

(combination of budesonide and formoterol fumarate)

  • Dry powder inhalation 100 micrograms / 6 micrograms / metered dose (DPI) (£28.00 = 120 doses)
  • Dry powder inhalation 200 micrograms / 6 micrograms / metered dose (DPI) (£28.00 = 120 doses)
  • Dry powder inhalation 400 micrograms / 12 micrograms / metered dose (DPI) (£28.00 = 60 doses)

Indications and dose

  • Asthma, adults (maintenance therapy, aged ≥ 12 years):
    • 100 micrograms / 6 micrograms: one or two inhalations twice daily
    • 200 micrograms / 6 micrograms: one or two inhalations twice daily
    • 400 micrograms / 12 micrograms: one inhalation twice daily
  • Asthma, children (maintenance therapy, aged ≥ 6 years):
    • 100 micrograms / 6 micrograms: two inhalations twice daily
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (adults):
    • 200 micrograms / 6 micrograms: two inhalations twice daily
    • 400 micrograms / 12 micrograms: one inhalation twice daily

Notes

  1. Symbicort Turbohaler 100/6 is licensed for use in asthma in patients aged 6 years and older
  2. Symbicort Turbohaler 200/6 and 400/12 are licensed for use in asthma in patients 12 years and older
  3. Symbicort Turbohaler 200/6 and 400/12 strengths are licensed for use in COPD in patients aged 18 years and older
  4. Symbicort Turbohaler 200/6 may be used as regular maintenance treatment and as needed in response to asthma symptoms (MART regimen), refer to Asthma - adult treatment guidance, Initial add on therapy for further details
  5. DPIs have a significantly lower carbon footprint than pMDIs and BAIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers)
DuoResp Spiromax

(combination of budesonide and formoterol fumarate)

  • Dry powder inhalation 160 micrograms / 4.5 micrograms / delivered dose (DPI) (£27.97 = 120 doses)
  • Dry powder inhalation 320 micrograms / 9 micrograms / delivered dose (DPI) (£27.97 = 60 doses)

Indications and dose

  • Asthma, adults (maintenance therapy, aged ≥ 18 years):
    • 160 micrograms / 4.5 micrograms: one or two inhalations twice daily
    • 320 micrograms / 9 micrograms: one inhalation twice daily
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    • 160 micrograms / 4.5 micrograms: two inhalations twice daily
    • 320 micrograms / 9 micrograms: one inhalation twice daily

Notes

  1. DuoResp Spiromax is included in the formulary for patients aged 18 years and over and is available in two strengths: 160/4.5 and 320/9. These strengths are equivalent to the Symbicort 200/6 and 400/12 preparations respectively. DuoResp Spiromax strengths refer to the delivered dose whereas the Symbicort strengths refer to the total dose contained in each actuation
  2. DuoResp Spiromax 160/4.5 may be used as regular maintenance treatment and as needed in response to asthma symptoms (MART regimen), refer to Asthma - adult treatment guidance, Initial add on therapy for further details
  3. DPIs have a significantly lower carbon footprint than pMDIs and BAIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers)

Fluticasone furoate and vilanterol

Relvar Ellipta

(combination of fluticasone furoate and vilanterol)

  • Dry powder inhalation 92 micrograms / 22 micrograms / delivered dose (DPI) (£22.00 = 30 doses)
  • Dry powder inhalation 184 micrograms / 22 micrograms / delivered dose (DPI) (£29.50 = 30 doses)

Indications and dose

Notes

  1. Relvar Ellipta inhaler has an in-use shelf life of 6 weeks
  2. Fluticasone furoate in Relvar Ellipta has a higher potency compared to fluticasone propionate; doses are not interchangeable
  3. In patients with asthma, fluticasone furoate 100 micrograms once daily is approximately equivalent to fluticasone propionate 250 micrograms twice daily; fluticasone furoate 200 micrograms once daily is approximately equivalent to fluticasone propionate 500 micrograms twice daily
  4. In adults with asthma, high dose ICS (such as Relvar Ellipta 184/22 – 1 puff once daily; see Inhaled Corticosteroid Dose Comparison in Asthma) should only be used after referring the patient to secondary care
  5. The routine commissioning of Relvar Ellipta combination inhaler is accepted in Devon for the regular treatment of asthma in adults and adolescents aged 12 years and older (see Commissioning Policy for more details)
  6. The routine commissioning of Relvar Ellipta combination inhaler is accepted in Devon for the symptomatic treatment of adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and an exacerbation history despite regular bronchodilator therapy (see Commissioning Policy for more details)
  7. The Relvar Ellipta 184 micrograms / 22 micrograms is not licensed for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  8. DPIs have a significantly lower carbon footprint than pMDIs and BAIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers)

Fluticasone propionate and salmeterol

Fusacomb Easyhaler
(combination of fluticasone propionate and salmeterol)
  • Dry powder inhalation 250 micrograms/ 50 micrograms/ metered dose (DPI) (£21.50 = 60 doses)

Indications and dose

Notes

  1. DPIs have a significantly lower carbon footprint than pMDIs and BAIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers)
Seretide Accuhaler

(combination of fluticasone propionate and salmeterol)

  • Dry powder inhalation 100 micrograms / 50 micrograms / blister dose (DPI) (£17.46 = 60 doses)
  • Dry powder inhalation 250 micrograms / 50 micrograms / blister dose (DPI) (£33.95 = 60 doses) (see note 1)
  • Dry powder inhalation 500 micrograms / 50 micrograms / blister dose (DPI) (£32.74 = 60 doses)

Indications and dose

Notes

  1. For new initiations of fluticasone propionate 250 microgram / salmeterol 50 microgram DPI in patients aged ≥ 12 years, Fusacomb Easyhaler is the preferred option due to its lower acquisition cost
  2. Seretide Accuhaler 500/50 is not recommended for new initiations, consider alternative ICS/LABA combinations; existing patients who are stable on treatment may continue to have Seretide Accuhaler 500/50 prescribed
  3. In children, medium dose inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) (see Inhaled Corticosteroid Dose Comparison in Asthma) should only be used after referring the patient to secondary care
  4. The maximum licensed dose of fluticasone propionate delivered by Seretide Accuhaler in children aged 4 years and above is 100 microgram twice daily
  5. In adults with asthma, high dose ICS (such as Seretide Accuhaler 500/50 – 1 puff twice a day; see Inhaled Corticosteroid Dose Comparison in Asthma) should only be used after referring the patient to secondary care
  6. DPIs have a significantly lower carbon footprint than pMDIs and BAIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers)
AirFluSal MDI

(combination of fluticasone propionate and salmeterol)

  • Aerosol inhalation 125 micrograms / 25 micrograms / metered dose (pMDI) (£16.42 = 120 doses)
  • Aerosol inhalation 250 micrograms / 25 micrograms / metered dose (pMDI) (£20.52 = 120 doses)

Indications and dose

Notes

  1. AirFluSal metered dose inhaler is not licensed for the management of COPD
  2. AirFluSal is licensed for use in adults aged 18 years and above
  3. In adults with asthma, high dose ICS (such as AirFluSal MDI 250/25 - 2 puffs twice a day; see Inhaled Corticosteroid Dose Comparison in Asthma) should only be used after referring the patient to secondary care
  4. pMDIs have a significantly higher carbon footprint than DPIs and SMIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers). For this reason pMDIs (with the exception of salbutamol and ipratropium) are not generally considered first line options
Seretide Evohaler

(combination of fluticasone propionate and salmeterol)

  • Aerosol inhalation 50 micrograms / 25 micrograms / metered dose (pMDI) (£17.46 = 120 doses)

Indications and dose

Notes

  1. Seretide Evohaler 50 micrograms/ 25 micrograms remains in the formulary for use in children aged 4 years and above
  2. pMDIs have a significantly higher carbon footprint than DPIs and SMIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers). For this reason pMDIs (with the exception of salbutamol and ipratropium) are not generally considered first line options

Fluticasone propionate and formoterol fumarate

Flutiform (fluticasone /formoterol)
  • The routine commissioning of Flutiform is not accepted in Devon for the treatment of asthma in adults and children over 12 years (see Commissioning Policy for more details).

Combination inhalers (Long-acting beta2 agonists (LABA) + Long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMA))

Indacaterol and glycopyrronium bromide

Ultibro Breezhaler

(combination of indacaterol maleate and glycopyrronium bromide)

  • Dry powder inhalation 85 micrograms / 43 micrograms / hard capsule (DPI) (£32.50 = 30 capsules and device)

Indications and dose

Notes

  1. DPIs have a significantly lower carbon footprint than pMDIs and BAIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers)

Olodaterol and tiotropium bromide

Spiolto Respimat

(combination of olodaterol hydrochoride and tiotropium bromide)

  • Solution for inhalation 2.5 micrograms / 2.5 micrograms / dose (SMI) (£32.50 = cartridge and device with 60 doses)

Indications and dose

Notes

  1. MHRA Drug Safety Update (February 2015): When using tiotropium delivered via Respimat or HandiHaler to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD):
    1. take the risk of cardiovascular side effects into account for patients with conditions that may be affected by the anticholinergic action of tiotropium, including:
      • myocardial infarction in the last 6 months
      • unstable or life threatening cardiac arrhythmia
      • cardiac arrhythmia requiring intervention or a change in drug therapy in the past year
      • hospitalisation for heart failure (NYHA Class III or IV) within the past year
    2. Tell these patients to report any worsening of cardiac symptoms after starting tiotropium
    3. Review the treatment of all patients already taking tiotropium as part of the comprehensive management plan to ensure that it remains appropriate for them; regularly review treatment of patients at high risk of cardiovascular events
    4. Remind patients not to exceed the recommended once daily dose
  2. The routine commissioning of Tiotropium bromide monohydrate and olodaterol hydrochloride (Spiolto Respimat) combination inhaler is accepted in Devon for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (see Commissioning Policy for more details)
  3. SMIs have a significantly lower carbon footprint than pMDIs and BAIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers)

Vilanterol and umeclidinium bromide

Anoro Ellipta

(combination of vilanterol (as trifenatate) and umeclidinium bromide)

  • Dry powder inhalation 22 micrograms / 55 micrograms (DPI) (£32.50 = 30 doses)

Indications and dose

Notes:

  1. DPIs have a significantly lower carbon footprint than pMDIs and BAIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers)

Formoterol and aclidinium bromide

Duaklir Genuair

(combination of formoterol fumerate and aclidinium bromide)

  • Breath-actuated dry powder inhaler 12 micrograms / 340 micrograms / metered dose (DPI) (£32.50 = 60 doses)

Indications and dose

Notes

  1. DPIs have a significantly lower carbon footprint than pMDIs and BAIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers)

Triple combination inhaler (Inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) + Long-acting beta2 agonists (LABA) + Long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMA))

Trelegy Ellipta

(combination of fluticasone furoate, umeclidinium bromide and vilanterol trifenatate)

  • Dry powder inhalation 92 micrograms / 55 micrograms / 22 micrograms / delivered dose (DPI) (£44.50 = 30 doses)

Indications and dose

Notes

  1. Licensed for maintenance treatment in adult patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are not adequately treated by a combination of an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting beta2-agonist or a combination of a long-acting beta2-agonist and a long-acting muscarinic antagonist
  2. The routine commissioning of Trelegy Ellipta is accepted in Devon for maintenance treatment in adult patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (see Commissioning Policy for more details)
  3. DPIs have a significantly lower carbon footprint than pMDIs and BAIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers)
Trimbow NEXThaler

(combination of BDP (extrafine), formoterol fumarate dihydrate, and glycopyrronium)

  • Inhalation powder, 88 micrograms / 5 micrograms / 9 micrograms / delivered dose (DPI) (£44.50 = 120 dose unit)

Indications and dose

Notes

  1. Licensed for maintenance treatment in adult patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are not adequately treated by a combination of an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting beta2-agonist or a combination of a long-acting beta2-agonist and a long-acting muscarinic antagonist
  2. The aerosol particles of Trimbow are on average much smaller than the particles delivered in non-extrafine formulations. For BDP, this results in a more potent effect than formulations with a non-extrafine particle size distribution; the manufacturer states that 100 micrograms of BDP extrafine in Trimbow are equivalent to 250 micrograms of BDP in a non-extrafine formulation.
  3. DPIs have a significantly lower carbon footprint than pMDIs and BAIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers)
Trimbow pMDI

(combination of BDP (extrafine), formoterol fumarate dihydrate, and glycopyrronium)

  • Pressurised inhalation, solution 87 micrograms / 5 micrograms / 9 micrograms delivered dose (pMDI) (£44.50 = 120 dose unit)

Indications and dose

Notes

  1. Licensed for maintenance treatment in adult patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are not adequately treated by a combination of an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting beta2-agonist or a combination of a long-acting beta2-agonist and a long-acting muscarinic antagonist
  2. The aerosol particles of Trimbow are on average much smaller than the particles delivered in non-extrafine formulations. For BDP, this results in a more potent effect than formulations with a non-extrafine particle size distribution; the manufacturer states that 100 micrograms of BDP extrafine in Trimbow are equivalent to 250 micrograms of BDP in a non-extrafine formulation.
  3. pMDIs have a significantly higher carbon footprint than DPIs and SMIs (refer to the environmental impact of inhalers). For this reason pMDIs (with the exception of salbutamol and ipratropium) are not generally considered first line options
Last updated: 07-03-2022

 

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