What is Symbicort?
Symbicort is a combination of two drugs, budesonide (a steroid) and formoterol (a bronchodilator).
What is Symbicort used for?
Symbicort is indicated for the prevention of bronchospasm in asthma patients and in people with COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease.
How does Symbicort work?
Symbicort works by reducing inflammation in the body and relaxing the muscles in airways in order to make breathing easier.
How to use Symbicort
Symbicort should be taken in the manner prescribed by the doctor. Taking it for longer periods or in larger amounts than recommended can enhance the risk of asthma-related deaths.
The medicine is inhaled deeply by mouth. Before inhaling Symbicort, shake the inhaler device well and pump at least 2 test sprays into the air. Do this if you are using the medicine for the first time or if you have not used it for the past 1 week. Also do this if the inhaler device has been dropped. Make sure that the test sprays are done while keeping the medicine away from your face.
Hold the inhaler device upright while taking the medicine. After using Symbicort, rinse your mouth. Do not take apart or clean the inhaler device. When the medicine is finished, throw away the empty inhaler.
Symbicort warnings and precautions
Do not use this drug if you are allergic to budesonide (Pulmicort, Entocort, Rhinocort) or formoterol (Perforomist, Foradil). Prior to taking Symbicort, tell your doctor if you have a heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, epilepsy, herpes infection of eyes, thyroid disorder, electrolyte imbalance, history of tuberculosis, family history of osteoporosis, or any kind of fungal, viral or bacterial infection.
Avoid being close to people who are sick or have infections. If you get exposed to chicken pox or measles, contact your doctor right away as the condition may be fatal.
Symbicort does not treat an asthma attack that has already begun. Therefore, do not take this drug if you are having an acute asthma attack. Do not give this medicine to children below the age of 12 years as this can affect their growth.
If you are ill, under stress, have had an asthma attack recently, or if you have to go in for a surgery, inform your doctor as you may need a dose adjustment.
Pregnant and lactating women should not use this drug without consulting their doctors.
What do I do if I have missed a Symbicort dose?
If you have missed your Symbicort dose, you can take the missed dose as soon as you remember but do not take it if it is time for your next (scheduled) dose.
What do I do if I have taken a Symbicort overdose?
If you have taken a Symbicort overdose you should seek medical attention immediately.
Before taking Symbicort, consult your doctor if you take a diuretic or water pill; antidepressant such as amoxapine (Asendin), desipramine (Norpramin), clomipramine (Anafranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), protriptyline (Vivactil), trimipramine (Surmontil); beta-blockers such as carvedilol (Coreg), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), sotalol (Betapace); an MAOI such as selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), phenelzine (Nardil), isocarboxazid (Marplan), rasagiline (Azilect), or tranylcypromine (Parnate); or antibiotics such as telithromycin (Ketek), azithromycin (Zithromax), erythromycin (Erythrocin, E.E.S., Ery-Tab, EryPed), or clarithromycin (Biaxin); and antifungal medications such as ketoconazole (Nizoral) or itraconazole (Sporanox).
Tell your doctor about all prescription and non prescription drugs that you use. Also, do not start taking any new medicine without consulting your doctor.
Symbicort side effects
Symbicort side effects include hives, chest pain, fast heartbeats, throat irritation, choking, breathing trouble, wheezing, sore throat, fever, chills, tremors, nervousness, weakness, bruising, bleeding, problems with vision, pain in the eyes, sores in mouth or throat, severe headache, anxiety, confusion, shortness of breath, worsening asthma symptoms; swelling of face, tongue, lips or throat; and other allergic reactions. If you get any of these side effects after using Symbicort, contact your doctor.
Stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, headache, backache, pain in joints or muscles are some less serious side effects of Symbicort.
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