PREVENTER TREATMENT FOR PEOPLE WITH SEVERE ASTHMA

People with severe asthma usually need to use a regular daily or twice daily inhaled medication to keep their symptoms under control, maintain their quality of life and reduce their risk of having an asthma flare-up.  

The Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) has recently listed a new combination preventer inhaler for use by people with severe asthma. It’s called Enerzair Breezhaler and contains indacaterol, glycopyrronium, and mometasone in a fixed-dose combination in one inhaler device.  

Asthma Australia would like to update you on this so you’re informed and empowered to know your options and make the best choices for you and your family. 

WHAT IS ENERZAIR BREEZHALER (indacaterol/glycopyrronium/mometasone)?

Enerzair Breezhaler (indacaterol/glycopyrronium/mometasone) is a combination preventer inhaler available by prescription only, for adults 18 years and over with severe asthma. Enerzair Breezhaler may be prescribed to people who:  

  • Have experienced a serious flareup in the past 12 months  
  • Demonstrate correct inhaler technique and  
  • Have regularly used an inhaled medium-high dose combination preventer. 

There are two dose strengths of Enerzair Breezhaler and your doctor will decide which one is appropriate for you. 

Enerzair works in two ways due to the action of its three ingredients: 

  • Indacaterol and glycopyrronium: both relax the muscles of the small airways in the lungs. This helps to open the airways and makes it easier for airflow in and out of the lungs. When taken regularly, they help the small airways to remain open.  
  • Mometasone: reduces the swelling and irritation in the small airways in the lungs and so gradually eases breathing problems. Mometasone also helps to prevent asthma attacks. 

Enerzair is prescribed for once daily use and needs to be taken regularly to be effective. It should not be used to relieve a sudden episode of breathlessness or wheezing.  

Enerzair Breezhaler is the name of the medicine and the device: 

  • Enerzair is the medicine that contains the three components described above 
  • Breezhaler is the device that delivers the medicine to your lungs. We explain how to use the breezhaler device below. 

WHAT HAS CHANGED?

The new Enerzair Breezhaler is a new addition to the list of combination preventer medicines.   

  • It is a single daily dose regime due to the long-lasting effects of the three medicines it contains indacaterol, glycopyrronium, and mometasone. It is delivered by the Breezhaler device which may be a new device for people with asthma. See below for device use instructions 
  • The Breezhaler device requires the loading of a capsule inside the device, which may be new for people with asthma 
  • The capsule is to be used with the device and not swallowed.  

HOW WILL THIS CHANGE IMPACT ME?

For people with asthma and their health care providers, it provides another option to be considered as medical treatment is tailored to your individual needs. 

As with everything in asthma, not every medicine and device will work for everybody and it is important that you can use your preventer medicine device correctly, you take it regularly and you have an Asthma Action Plan in place. 

If you haven’t spoken to your doctor recently about your asthma control, this might be a good time to do so. Together, you should be aiming for fewer and less severe symptoms, less limitation to your activity and lifestyle goals, and prevention or reduction of asthma attacks (flare-ups).  

HOW TO USE ENERZAIR BREEZHALER

Your doctor or pharmacist will advise you on how to use your inhaler. Usually, you will be advised to inhale the contents of one capsule each day, every day. It is important to use your Breezhaler device correctly in order to get the most benefit from the medicine. Watch this Breezhaler instruction video and be sure to speak with your pharmacist about a device technique demonstration.  

REMEMBER TO WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE USING YOUR INHALER DEVICE
  1. Open device 
    1. Remove cap 
    2. Flip mouthpiece to open 
  2. Load capsule 
    1. Remove capsule from blister and place in the chamber 
    2. Close mouthpiece until it clicks 
    3. Press side buttons in once and release 
  3. Inhale single dose 
    1. Breathe out gently away from the inhaler 
    2. Put the mouthpiece between teeth without biting and close lips to form a good seal 
    3. Breathe in quickly and steadily, so the capsule vibrates. Continue to breathe in until comfortable 
    4. Hold breath for about 5 seconds or as long as is comfortable 
    5. Remove the inhaler from your mouth while holding your breath 
    6. Breathe out gently away from the inhaler 
  4. Close device 
    1. Open mouthpiece and remove the capsule 
    2. Close the mouthpiece and replace the cap 
  5. Rinse your mouth out with water after use 

Other important points: 

  • Only use the capsules provided in the pack with the inhaler 
  • Keep capsules in the blister until you need them 
  • Peel the blister back to retrieve the capsule, don’t push the capsule through the blister 
  • Take your medicine at the same time each day 
  • Mild side effects are common in up to 1 in 10 people and include changed voice, sore or dry mouth, sore throat, and muscle pain 
  • Report all side effects to your doctor. Make an urgent appointment with your doctor if you feel like your asthma is worsening.   

IN SUMMARY 

  • Enerzair Breezhaler (indacaterol, glycopyrronium, and mometasone) is a new medicine available in Australia for people with asthma, available by prescription only for people aged 18 years and over 
  • Enerzair is a combination preventer medicine, which means it contains more than one medicine in one device, prescribed for regular use to prevent symptoms and asthma attacks (flare-ups) 
  • The list of asthma medicines available in Australia is growing which might provide you and your treating health professional with more options to tailor your treatment to your individual needs 
  • Together you should be aiming for improved asthma control, reduced flare-ups, and achievement of lifestyle and wellbeing goals 
  • Make sure you use your preventer inhaler regularly as prescribed to get maximum benefit from it. Ensure you use the inhaler correctly and you have an updated Asthma Action Plan which clearly describes your medical treatment plan and what to do in case of worsening asthma 
  • If symptoms are still not controlled whilst using Enerzair Breezhaler it is important to review your asthma urgently. 

Want to know more? For more information about Enerzair Breezhaler or to speak with an Asthma Educator about your asthma, call 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462). 

 

Updated 14/7/21