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Symbicort

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What is Symbicort?

Symbicort is an asthma inhaler that you take daily. It is mainly sold as a dry powder inhaler (DPI) under the brand name Symbicort Turbohaler.

It contains two active ingredients that can both prevent and treat asthma symptoms. It is also prescribed for COPD. It works by reducing inflammation in the airways which improves symptoms and prevents asthma attacks.

Depending on your symptoms, it can be used as your only inhaler or alongside a reliever inhaler. Your doctor will instruct you on how to use it to manage your asthma.

How does Symbicort work?

Symbicort contains two active ingredients: budesonide and formoterol.

  • Budesonide is an inhaled corticosteroid. It reduces and prevents inflammation and swelling in your airways.
  • Formoterol is a long-acting bronchodilator (LABA). It helps to relax the muscles in the airway.

Both of these ingredients work together to provide direct relief for asthma symptoms, such as wheezing, chest pain and breathlessness.

It also reduces the risk of you reacting to asthma triggers (e.g. pollution or dust mites) and therefore lowers the risk of an asthma attack.

What dose do I take?

Symbicort Turbohaler is available in 3 different doses: 100/6, 200/6 and 400/6 mcg.

You must take it daily to successfully prevent asthma attacks. Take 2 inhalations daily. You can take one inhalation in the morning and one in the evening. Alternatively, you can take both inhalations either in the morning or evening.

If your doctor has told you to, you can also use it when your symptoms get temporarily worse. This is known as maintenance and reliever therapy (MART). Take one inhalation as and when you need it.

Do not use Symbicort as and when you need it if you use a blue reliever inhaler (e.g. Ventolin). Always ask your doctor if you’re not sure.

Do not take more than 6 inhalations per day. If you use more than you’re supposed to, you may experience side effects.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue from your next scheduled dose.

How do I use Symbicort?

Before using your new Symbicort Turbohaler, you need to prepare it.

  1. Unscrew the cover and lift it off. You may hear a rattling sound.
  2. Hold the inhaler upright, with the red grip at the bottom.
  3. Turn the red grip as far as it will go in one direction, then twist it in the opposite direction. You should hear a click on the first or second twist.
  4. Repeat step 3 and your turbohaler is ready to use.

Use your Symbicort as follows:

  1. Unscrew the cover and lift it off. You may hear a rattling sound.
  2. Hold the inhaler upright, with the red grip at the bottom.
  3. Turn the red grip as far as it will go in one direction, then twist it in the opposite direction. You should hear a click during the first or second twist - this means the dose is ready to take.
  4. Hold your inhaler away from your mouth and breathe out gently (as far as possible).
  5. Place the mouthpiece gently between your teeth. Close your lips and breathe in as deeply and hard as possible.
  6. Remove the inhaler from your mouth then breathe out gently.
  7. Repeat steps 2 - 6 if you need to take a second puff.
  8. Rinse your mouth after each use.

It only releases a small amount of medicine. So even if you don’t feel anything, you have taken it successfully if you have followed the instructions.

You should clean your inhaler once weekly with dry tissue. Do not use water.

What are the side effects of Symbicort?

Like most prescription medications, Symbicort may cause some side effects.

Common Symbicort side effects include:
  • oral thrush
  • headache
  • change in voice or taste
  • palpitations
  • tremor
  • irregular heartbeat

Most common side effects are mild and go away on their own. You can prevent oral thrush by rinsing your mouth after each use. If any side effects continue, talk to your doctor.

You may experience signs of an allergic reaction (e.g. swelling or a rash). If these side effects occur, seek immediate medical attention.

In rare cases, people experience more serious side effects such as a paradoxical bronchospasm, which is an unexpected spasm in the airways after using an inhaler. If you suddenly feel symptoms after using an inhaler, seek immediate medical attention.

Refer to the patient information leaflet for a full list of side effects.

Who can use Symbicort?

Most people with asthma or COPD can safely use Symbicort. However, you may be more at risk of experiencing side effects if you have a preexisting medical condition.

Ask your doctor before this medication if you have:

  • diabetes
  • a lung infection
  • high blood pressure
  • ever had a heart problem
  • problems with your adrenal and/or thyroid glands
  • low potassium levels in your blood
  • severe liver problems

You should also consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not take Symbicort if you are allergic to any of the ingredients or are lactose intolerant.

You should also tell your doctor if you take any other medications, such as:

  • beta-blocker medicines for high blood pressure (e.g. propranolol) or glaucoma (e.g. timolol)
  • medicines for an uneven heartbeat (quinidine)
  • medicines for heart failure (e.g. digoxin)
  • diuretics or ‘water tablets’ for high blood pressure (e.g. furosemide)
  • oral corticosteroids (e.g. prednisolone)
  • oral asthma medicines (e.g. theophylline)
  • other bronchodilators (e.g. salbutamol)
  • certain antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline)
  • phenothiazine medicines (e.g. prochlorperazine)
  • medicines for HIV (e.g. ritonavir)
  • certain antibiotics or antifungals (e.g. ketoconazole or clarithromycin)
  • medicines for Parkinson’s disease
  • medicines for thyroid problems (e.g. levothyroxine)

Ask your doctor if you are not sure.

How do I get Symbicort?

Symbicort is available on prescription for COPD and asthma treatment. It will need to be prescribed by your GP or asthma specialist. Once you are stable on it, you can get it on a repeat prescription from your GP or online.

Note: You must complete a short online consultation so that our doctor can ensure that the treatment is suitable for you. The above pricing should only be used as a reference. The final decision to issue this treatment lies with the prescribing doctor.

Symbicort information
Product nameSymbicort
Active ingredient(s)Budesonide and Formoterol
ManufacturerAstrazeneca
Trustpilot rating4.8/5
Trustpilot reviews80
AvailabilityOut of stock
DescriptionSymbicort is a preventative inhaler used to prevent the swelling and irritation of airways that cause asthma symptoms
ExemptionSubject to medical prescription
AdministrationOral
PresentationInhalers
Available dosage100 / 6mcg, 200 / 6mcg ,400 / 12mcg
ApplicationMen and women over 18 with asthma
UsageUse on a daily basis to prevent asthma symptoms
Drug classBeta2 agonists, long-acting/corticosteroids
Alcohol consumptionNo influence
When breastfeedingCaution is recommended, ask your doctor
When pregnantCaution is recommended, ask your doctor
Symbicort reviews
The package contains 120 doses of Symbicort® Turbuhaler® 100/6 inhalation powder Excellent 4.8 80 patients have reviewed Symbicort on Trustpilot

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