What is Symbicort?Symbicort combines two medications, the inhaled corticosteroid budesonide and the long-acting beta2 agonist formoterol, to control the symptoms of asthma.
Symbicort is also used in adults to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), a lung disease that causes swelling in the lungs and shortness of breath.
What is the most important information I should know about Symbicort?In patients with asthma, long-acting beta2 agonists may increase the chance of death from asthma. Symbicort does not relieve sudden symptoms of asthma. Always have your rescue inhaler to treat sudden symptoms. Do not stop using Symbicort unless told to do so by your doctor. If your breathing problems get worse over time discuss it with your doctor as you may need different treatment.
You should only use Symbicort if your doctor decides that another asthma-controller medicine alone does not control your asthma or that you need two such medicines.
Who should not take Symbicort?Do not take Symbicort if you are suffering from an acute attack of asthma.
Do not take if you are allergic to Symbicort or any of its ingredients. Do not use if you are also using drugs that suppress the immune system or if you have chickenpox or measles.
Do not take if your asthma is controlled on another long term control medication.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Symbicort?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Symbicort. Also talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of status asthmaticus, acute asthma attacks, or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you are taking any drugs that suppress the immune system, are suffering from chickenpox or measles, cataracts, glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), TB, if you have heart problems, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, diabetes, liver problems or osteoporosis.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults and children ≥12 years: The usual dose is two inhalations twice a day--once in the morning and once in the evening, 12 hours apart.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Adults: The usual dose is two inhalations twice a day.
How should I take Symbicort?Shake the inhaler well for 5 seconds before each spray.
Symbicort should be primed before using it for the first time or if you haven't used it for more than 7 days. Priming is done by releasing two test sprays.
To use, remove the mouthpiece cover. Exhale out completely, then place the white mouthpiece fully into your mouth and close your lips around it. While inhaling, press down firmly and fully on the counter on the inhaler. Continue to breathe in and hold your breath for 10 seconds or as long as you are comfortable. Do not breathe in through your nose. Take the prescribed number of puffs. After you are done, rinse your mouth with water.
What should I avoid while taking Symbicort?Do not change or stop any medications you are taking to control or treat your breathing problems. Do not swallow the medication.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Symbicort?If Symbicort is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Symbicort with any other drugs containing a long-acting beta2 agonist, such as Advair Diskus or Serevent Diskus.
It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Symbicort with the following: beta-blockers, diuretics (water pills), monoamine oxidase inhibitors, antifungal medications, anti-HIV medications, or tricyclic antidepressants.
What are the possible side effects of Symbicort?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: allergic reactions, cataracts, chest pain, increased blood pressure, elevated intraocular pressure, fast irregular heartbeat, headache, reduced immunity, higher chance of infections, nervousness, tremors, lower bone density, slowed growth in children, fungal infections in the mouth and throat (thrush), throat pain
Signs of severe allergic reactions may include hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the throat. If any of these events occur, seek immediate medical attention.
Can I receive Symbicort if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?Symbicort should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Symbicort?Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Symbicort?Store at room temperature; do not store near heat or flame. Discard Symbicort when the counter reaches "0" or 3 months after removal from its foil pouch, whichever comes first.
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