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Budesonide/Formoterol Inhaler

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Long-acting Beta Agonist + Steroid Inhaler Symbicort Adult, Children

Budesonide/Formoterol Inhaler - What is it for

​Symbicort inhaler is used to help control symptoms in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is a disease affecting the lungs which makes it harder for the person to breathe as the disease gets worse.

Symbicort contains two ingredients, Formoterol and Budesonide. Formoterol helps to keep the airways open, making it easier for air to move in and out of the lungs. Budesonide is a type of steroid and helps to reduce and prevent swelling and inflammation in the airways.     

Symbicort is normally referred to as a ’preventer’ or ‘controller’ inhaler as it helps to prevent symptoms such as breathlessness in asthma and COPD. It can also help to reduce the chances of having an asthma attack. In some cases, the doctor will also ask you to use Symbicort to relieve asthma attacks.

Budesonide/Formoterol Inhaler - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Budesonide/Formoterol Inhaler cause?

​Common side effects include:

  • Increase chance of experiencing throat irritation, oral fungal infection (seen as white patches in mouth), hoarseness of voice and coughing. You can prevent these side effects by:
    • Rinsing your mouth with water and spitting the water out after rinsing
    • Brushing your teeth each time after you use your Symbicort inhaler
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

The dizziness and headache may happen but should get better over time. Check with your doctor if any of these symptoms are serious or do not go away.

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Budesonide/Formoterol Inhaler, what precautions must I follow?

​Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies
  • You are taking oral medications to treat fungal infections such as itraconazole or ketoconazole
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You have heart, liver or thyroid problems
  • You have diabetes
  • You have low blood potassium levels

Symbicort can be used both to prevent and relieve an asthma attack. If your doctor has told you to use Symbicort to relieve your asthma attack, make sure you have it with you at all times.

However, if your doctor gave you a separate fast-acting inhaler, such as Salbutamol inhaler, make sure you have the Salbutamol inhaler with you at all times instead. A fast-acting inhaler would open up your airways quickly to relieve your breathlessness during an asthma attack. Fast-acting inhalers are normally referred to as ‘reliever’ inhalers.

Please see your healthcare professional if your asthma symptoms get worse. Signs include:

  • Having to use your ‘reliever’ inhaler more often than before
  • Your wheezing (a high-pitched whistling sound made while breathing) or chest tightness gets worse
  • Your ‘reliever’ inhaler doesn’t help you as well as before

These symptoms may mean that your condition could be getting worse and you may need extra treatment.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Budesonide/Formoterol Inhaler?

Budesonide/Formoterol Inhaler - Dosage and How to Use

How should Budesonide/Formoterol Inhaler be used?

  • Use your Symbicort inhaler every day to control your condition.
  • Do not stop using your inhaler even when you feel well or don’t have any symptoms.
  • Please refer to Symbicort’s patient information leaflet to learn how to use the inhaler.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

Budesonide/Formoterol Inhaler - Handling

How should I handle Budesonide/Formoterol Inhaler safely?

Budesonide/Formoterol Inhaler - Storage

How should I store Budesonide/Formoterol Inhaler?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

Keep the cap on when not in use.

How should I dispose of Budesonide/Formoterol Inhaler safely?

​Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

Budesonide/Formoterol Inhaler - Additional Information

  • Updated on Wednesday, July 31, 2019
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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