Anoro Ellipta (umeclidinium/vilanterol) is a prescription inhaler used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adults. The drug can cause side effects ranging from mild to serious, including sore throat and sinus infection.

Some people may experience mild to serious side effects during their Anoro Ellipta treatment. Examples of the drug’s commonly reported side effects include:

Mild side effects have been reported with Anoro Ellipta. These include:

  • neck pain
  • chest pain
  • dry mouth
  • common cold symptoms, such as cough or sore throat
  • lower respiratory infection
  • sinus infection
  • pink eye
  • muscle spasms
  • heartburn and indigestion
  • vomiting
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • pain in the legs or arms
  • weakness
  • headache
  • mild allergic reaction*

Typically, mild side effects such as headache or vomiting are temporary and will go away on their own. You may also easily manage other side effects, such as dry mouth, sore throat, or cough, with over-the-counter medications.

But if you have symptoms that are ongoing or bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. And do not stop using Anoro Ellipta unless your doctor recommends it.

Anoro Ellipta may cause mild side effects other than those listed above. See the drug’s prescribing information for details.

* An allergic reaction is possible after using Anoro Ellipta. This wasn’t reported in studies of the drug, but allergic reaction has been reported after the drug became available for use. To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

Serious side effects have been reported with Anoro Ellipta. These include:

If you develop serious side effects while using Anoro Ellipta, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you have a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Anoro Ellipta, visit MedWatch.

Get answers below to some frequently asked questions about Anoro Ellipta’s side effects.

Does stopping Anoro Ellipta cause certain side effects?

Stopping Anoro Ellipta suddenly, even if you feel better or don’t think it’s helpful, can lead to the worsening of COPD symptoms. These include:

  • wheezing
  • coughing
  • shortness of breath
  • excess mucus in the throat or lungs

Before you stop using Anoro Ellipta, talk with your doctor.

Can Anoro Ellipta cause weight gain or weight loss?

It’s not likely. Changes in weight were not reported side effects in studies of Anoro Ellipta. If you have unexplained weight loss or weight gain while using Anoro Ellipta, talk with your doctor.

Learn more about some of the side effects Anoro Ellipta may cause.

Heart problems

Anoro Ellipta may cause heart problems in some people. This was a rare side effect reported in studies of the drug.

One of the active ingredients* of Anoro Ellipta, vilanterol, stimulates the long lasting opening of lung airways. This makes it easier to breathe. But the drug can also speed up your heart rate and tighten blood vessels. This can lead to symptoms such as:

Some people may have severe heart problems from vilanterol, which can cause a heart attack or even be fatal.

Factors that can increase the risk of heart problems when using Anoro Ellipta include:

  • taking a higher dose of Anoro Ellipta than prescribed
  • taking stimulant medications such as methylphenidate or modafinil with Anoro Ellipta
  • smoking tobacco
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • obesity

* An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.

What might help

If you have factors that may raise your risk of developing heart problems with Anoro Ellipta, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can review your medications and give you suggestions to help lower your risk of heart problems. Your doctor may want to monitor your blood pressure, pulse, and heart rhythm more often during your Anoro Ellipta treatment.

It’s important that you do not use more Anoro Ellipta than prescribed and do not stop using it without first talking with your doctor.

Allergic reaction

Like most drugs, Anoro Ellipta can cause an allergic reaction in some people. This side effect wasn’t reported in studies of the drug, but the FDA received reports of severe allergic reactions after Anoro Ellipta became available for use.

People with a severe allergy to milk protein have reported experiencing allergic reactions from inhaling Anoro Ellipta. This is because the drug contains milk proteins.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction can be mild to serious and can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • swelling under your skin (usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet)
  • swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe

What might help

If you have mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may suggest a treatment to manage your symptoms. Examples include:

  • an oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • a product you apply to your skin, such as hydrocortisone cream

If your doctor confirms you’ve had a mild allergic reaction to Anoro Ellipta, they’ll decide whether you should continue using it.

If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms could be life threatening and require immediate medical care.

If your doctor confirms you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to Anoro Ellipta, they may have you switch to a different treatment.

Keeping track of side effects

During your Anoro Ellipta treatment, consider taking notes on any side effects you’re having. You can then share this information with your doctor. This is especially helpful when you first start taking a new drug or using a combination of treatments.

Your side effect notes can include things such as:

  • what dose of the drug you were taking when you had the side effect
  • how soon you had the side effect after starting that dose
  • what your symptoms were
  • how your symptoms affected your daily activities
  • what other medications you were taking
  • any other information you feel is important

Keeping notes and sharing them with your doctor will help them learn more about how Anoro Ellipta affects you. They can then use this information to adjust your treatment plan if needed.

Below is important information you should consider before using Anoro Ellipta.

Warnings

Anoro Ellipta can sometimes cause harmful effects in people who have certain conditions. This is known as a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether Anoro Ellipta is a good treatment option for you.

Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Anoro Ellipta. Be sure to tell them if any of the following factors apply to you:

Alcohol and Anoro Ellipta

There are no known interactions between alcohol and Anoro Ellipta. However, some research has shown that excessive alcohol use can worsen your lung function over time. If you drink alcohol and you have COPD, it’s best to avoid drinking large amounts.

If you have questions about consuming alcohol during your Anoro Ellipta treatment, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding with Anoro Ellipta

Before starting Anoro Ellipta treatment, it’s important to talk with your doctor if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant or breastfeed.

Pregnancy

It’s not known whether it’s safe to use Anoro Ellipta during pregnancy. However, Anoro Ellipta may interfere with contractions of the uterus. Because of this, it should not be used in late pregnancy or during labor unless the potential benefits outweigh the risks of untreated COPD.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor before starting treatment with Anoro Ellipta.

Breastfeeding

It’s not known whether Anoro Ellipta is safe to use while breastfeeding. If you’re breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before starting this medication.

Like most drugs, Anoro Ellipta can cause side effects that range from mild to serious. However, most are temporary and go away after a few days to weeks. If you have questions about side effects that Anoro Ellipta can cause, talk with your doctor.

Examples of questions to help get you started include:

  • How likely am I to get headaches and muscle spasms with Anoro Ellipta?
  • What should I do if my COPD worsens during my Anoro Ellipta treatment?
  • How severe can the heartburn and indigestion be with Anoro Ellipta?

To learn more about Anoro Ellipta, see these articles:

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.