Seretide : Is anyone else having... - Asthma UK communi...

Asthma UK community forum

18,150 members22,447 posts


RD23 profile image

Is anyone else having trouble getting hold of Seretide 250? My pharmacy couldn’t get it and now they can’t get the alternative (AirFluSal) in either! They gave my partner a slip saying they owed me when he went to collect my prescription for me and said I need to go and see my GP and ask them to change my prescription to an alternative (still the same strength) inhaler. I’ve since been in myself and told them that I rely on that prescription and luckily have a spare but leaving someone without their long term preventer is just not good enough! I asked why they hadn’t contacted my GP and was told they’ve tried in the past but ‘the doctors just won’t listen to us’ 🙄

This is the second pharmacy I’ve had problems with, I don’t know why they offer to order your prescription straight from the GP and have it ready for you if they just can deliver the service!

33 Replies

You’ve got me worried now! There’s certainly a big move towards an alternative to Seretide, on cost grounds for the NHS. Highly understandable but the alternative I tried, Sereflo, didn’t suit me...,so I’m happily back on Seretide 250.....until it runs out, maybe. My husband has transferred with no problems though, but he’s more copd than asthma.

RD23 profile image
RD23 in reply to Yatzy

Where’ve you managed to get it from as Boots are proving to be less than helpful!

Yatzy profile image
Yatzy in reply to RD23

My local chemist on outskirts of Northwich, Cheshire. Boots aren’t what they were!

mainsdours profile image
mainsdours in reply to Yatzy

It’s not solely cost grounds; other combination inhalers have proved better for asthmatics, as in similar efficacy with fewer side effects. Keeping costs down also helps everyone. Unfortunately this does mean that pharmacies seem to be stocking fewer of the medications which are falling out of favour, and although stocking less is reasonable, it seems that all too many pharmacies aren’t taking all the right steps to ensure that the patients they have are getting the meds they require when they require them.

MaggieHP profile image
MaggieHP in reply to mainsdours

Better for some asthmatics maybe - but not for all. It would make sense if that were the case, but it isn’t always. Taking an asthmatic off an inhaler that is proven to be doing a good job and then putting them on to one that may or may not is taking a risk, both from the point of view of the health of the patient and financially. If it works - fine. If it doesn’t the decline in the health of the patient is quite likely to cost the NHS more than leaving them on the more expensive medication would have done.

I had to go to three pharmacies to get hold of it on the the weekend.

I hope it's not going to be a trend, like you say it's not like we can easily go without it 🙄

RD23 profile image
RD23 in reply to Llamafarmer

Exactly! I tried to explain this to the pharmacist and that if I don’t have it or an alternative I could end up really poorly in hospital and she said in that situation I could call 111 for an emergency prescription but if they’re having trouble with the manufactures I don’t see how that would solve the issue!

I’m off to dig myself a hole to live in before the world goes totally crazy!

I've just had a letter saying the GP is switching me to Combisal instead of Seretide on cost grounds, so perhaps it's related to that. Would've been nice to have been asked first, or at least try patients on it first before taking the Seretide away...!

RD23 profile image
RD23 in reply to ccccc

Put the patient first? What silliness is this?! 🙄😂 yeah you would think they’d give you a trial period just in case!

ccccc profile image
ccccc in reply to RD23

I know it's ridiculous, they've already tried to swap me to Fostair several times as "it's the same". But we don't have the same bodies or the same types of asthma, so why would we all react the same?!

RD23 profile image
RD23 in reply to ccccc

Exactly!!! I’m yet to come across this mythical ‘text book’ asthma!

mainsdours profile image
mainsdours in reply to ccccc

They will put you back on Seretide if Combisal is unsuitable, but it’s reasonable for them to just notify you of the switch considering they’re the same medication. Hopefully it works as well for you as Seretide :)

It’s bad that they haven’t got one in stock for you! Is this a regular pharmacy? Just asking because sticking with a regular pharmacy when possible means that they should try and account for you when they’re ordering. They can’t account for everyone all the time but it’s certainly more likely.

If this is your regular pharmacy, though, you’re right to point out to them that they should have enough in stock that there is still some surplus, just in case. They wouldn’t leave a diabetic with no insulin..

As a side note, it’s a good idea to consider other options, if you can. See about trying one of the higher-tier/more recommended alternatives, if possible, as these are more available. But I do understand that this might be something you already know is not an option for you!

RD23 profile image
RD23 in reply to mainsdours

It’s my regular pharmacy, I set up the system that they order my repeats straight from my doctors and they text me when it’s in so all I have to do (in theory) is go and collect it.

I could understand if I’d gone somewhere else adhoc but it’s not like it’s a small pharmacy either! They didn’t really seem to understand the seriousness and that luckily I have plenty left so it give me time to sort it but that as I rely on them to have it for when I need it that simply telling me to ask my doctor for a different one isn’t good enough! It’s not the first problem I’ve had with them, they repeatedly mess up my prescription but so did my previous pharmacy! 🙄😂

mainsdours profile image
mainsdours in reply to RD23

That’s really bad then!! I’m glad you’ve got some to — excuse the pun — Seretide you over though. I came down from 250/25 to 125/25 some months back but still had a backstock of 250/25 which would just go to waste if I took them back to the pharmacy so I keep those for emergencies now. It sounds like they really don’t understand how important it is, or they need to switch suppliers!

RD23 profile image
RD23 in reply to mainsdours

Seretide you over 🤣🤣🤣

I have tried to switch to seretide couple of years ago. It didn't work the asthma nurse was happy to switch it back. She said if it work for me that was fine even though it was more costly. It also takes longer to work.

However last October switch to fostair nexthaler 200/6 from seretide 250. Reason smaller particles getting into your lungs better. Faster acting too.

Works beautifully for me.

We are all different though so it's not one size fits all. I sure a good doctor/asthma will appreciate that.

Yea good point different inhalers work differently on some people . Best to try find the one which works best for you .

I have been changed from Seretide250 about 6 months to a direct equivalent called Sirdupla 250 which is much less expensive to NHS . Have had no problems . Always check if you are offered an equivalent that the two main active ingredients are the same .

I agree mine is equivalent of Seretide 250 2 puffs twice a day to Fostair Nexthaler 200/6 2 puffs twice a day.

I used to be on Fostair . It is not the same as Seretide and has different active ingredients . If it’s working for you that’s ok

I said it was an equalient not the same I appreciate that.

Seems to be on the rise, my local pharmacy has secured GSK Seretide once from France and Spain when UK supplies not available. So it can’t just be the cost.

Interestingly GSK I understand are closing down one of manufacturing plants in the UK.

Worryingly not sure where this will leave us after leaving the EU

MaggieHP profile image
MaggieHP in reply to

Just checked to see if there’s anything on this online and found a statement from GSK made in July last year. I’m not on Seretide, but I am on Flixotide (same steroid but without the Serevent component) which is also a GSK product. The most recent inhalers I ordered had packaging which suggests they were intended for the Russia.

The statement makes it clear that none of the changes being made to the company are nothing to do with the U.K. leaving the EU and it rather looks as thought they hope to expand their manufacturing of medications for respiratory conditions.

I didn’t know about Flixotide (in fact I’d never heard of it) I wonder why I was given Seretide when Serevent is the only inhaler that’s really worked for me. I wonder why I wasn’t given one with the Serevent component. 🤔

Seretide is a combination inhaler comprising of the steroid fluticasone Propionate and the LABA Salmeterol (marketed as Serevent). Flixotide doesn’t have the LABA. I use the dry powder version of Flixotide (disc inhaler called an accuhaler) which works very well for me and keeps me nicely controlled. I was first put on it back in 1996/7; prior to that I was on Becotide (beclometasone) which never controlled my asthma well, and before that I was on IntalCo (Sodium chromoglycate and isoprenaline), very effective for many years but discontinued not long after I was taken off it. IntalCo also had one of the best inhaler designs I’ve come across - the spinhaler. So easy to use that even as a child of 8/9 I had no problems with it.

Serevent doesn’t really do anything for me - no idea why, but I suppose it’s another example of what works for some doesn’t work for others:-).

🤔 That makes more sense I suppose, Seretide = Serevent but different! Different things do work differently for different people (unfortunately some health care workers don’t seem to understand this) I was on Fostair for six months this year and I was ridiculously ill. But I was repeatedly told everyone else is happy with it. I know some people for whom Fostair is miraculous. Serevent was wonderful for me but it was taken away for reasons I’m not entirely sure of, and since then I’ve been on ever changing inhalers, trying to find something that works.

A respiratory consultant suggested Fostair to me, but I knew the steroid involved in that was beclometasone as well so point blank refused to switch. He did back down. I think that might have been cost orientated; there was no other reason to even suggest why I should come of Flixotide when it was doing such a brilliant job at controlling my asthma. I sometimes wonder if doctors (and even those working in finance within the NHS) really understand the term ‘false economy’. “That medication is cheaper and has shown to be effective in x% of asthmatics”. But it doesn’t work for all, and taking someone off a medication that does work onto a cheaper one that turns out not to will often end up being more expensive in the end.

My thoughts exactly. I’m pretty sure taking me off Serevent was at least in part due to cost. But since then, I’ve been on numerous inhalers and Pred, so surely any savings have been lost. And even if it has saved money, my health has declined. Although I’m a lot better now since coming off the Fostair about 2 months ago, I’m still nowhere near as well as I had been, and that’s having knock-on effects, like I’ve put on a lot of weight this year, which in turn is affecting things, and I’m really struggling to lose that weight (but trying!)

AsthmaUK_Nurses profile image

Hi there thanks for your enquiry. that must be a worry for you. it is good it was resolved without loosing any protection. we have not specifically known about seretide accuhaler and airFluSal being in short supply.Hopefully this won't happen again.

From the helpline nurses

RD23 profile image
RD23 in reply to AsthmaUK_Nurses

It still isn’t properly resolved, I’ve had to go to my GP and ask them to change it to the alternative and now two pharmacies we’ve tried can’t get hold of it! Is there any investing Asthma UK can do?

AsthmaUK_Nurses profile image

How frustrating ! We have noted your comments and I have passed this information onto the relevant team. AUK were unaware of any medication supply issues.

RD23 profile image
RD23 in reply to AsthmaUK_Nurses

Thank you

You may also like...