Symbicort is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006 for the treatment of asthma and 2009 for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Symbicort helps prevent bronchospasm. Symbicort is not indicated for rescue usage during acute bronchospasms. Symbicort is not indicated for people whose COPD symptoms can be managed by inhaled corticosteroids along with occasional use of an inhaled, short-acting bronchodilator.
Symbicort is a combination drug containing both Budesonide and Formoterol. Budesonide is a glucocorticoid steroid, a drug that suppresses the immune system. Budesonide is believed to work by reducing inflammation in the lungs, lowering the risk of bronchospasm. Formoterol is a long-acting bronchodilator, a drug that dilates the bronchi and bronchioles in the lungs, making it easier to breathe. Formoterol is believed to work by relaxing smooth muscles in the airways.
How do I take it?
Symbicort is inhaled orally twice a day. Symbicort should be taken at the same times each day, 12 hours apart. For instance, Symbicort may be taken morning and evening.
Prime a new Symbicort inhaler by shaking it for five seconds, then releasing two sprays away from your face, then repeating. Also prime the Symbicort inhaler has been dropped, or when it has not been used in more than seven days.
Rinse your mouth and throat with water after taking a dose of Symbicort in order to help prevent infections. Do not swallow the water.
Your doctor may advise you to avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking Symbicort.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Symbicort.
The two drugs that comprise Symbicort can cause various side effects. Among these, the most serious is an increase in the risk of asthma-related death that has been associated with Formoterol. Budesonide can raise your risk for contracting pneumonia and other infections.
Common side effects of Formoterol include hoarse, dry or irritated throat, upset stomach or stomach pain, diarrhea, heartburn, muscle cramps, coughing, blurred vision, nervousness, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, and shaking in any part of the body.
Common side effects of Budesonide inhalation include dry or irritated throat, voice changes, nosebleeds, or runny nose.
Inform your doctor if you experience chest tightness or pain, seizures, muscle tightening, fainting, lightheadedness, skin rash, fast heart rate (tachycardia), white patches in your mouth or throat, or worsening asthma symptoms while taking Symbicort.
Many drugs can cause allergic reactions which, in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing or swelling in the face, throat, eyes, lips or tongue.