Symbicort Turbohaler

The Symbicort Turbohaler contains two active ingredients: budesonide and formoterol. Budesonide is a steroid, which works by reducing the inflammation in the lungs. Whereas, Formoterol opens and relaxes the airways, making it easier to breathe. The Symbicort Turbohaler should not be used during an attack of breathlessness, as it is not designed for instant relief and it will not work. For this you should use a reliever inhaler such as Ventolin. If you would like to order inhalers through Dr Felix, simply complete the 2 minute online consultation. Our UK registered doctors will assess your responses, before issuing a prescription if the inhaler is safe for you. Dr Felix encourages regular check ups of your asthma with your local doctor or nurse.

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Strength Quantity Price
100/61 inhaler56.25
200/61 inhaler59.25
400/121 inhaler59.25
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About

What is Symbicort?

Symbicort is a type of preventer inhaler used to treat asthma in adolescents aged 12-17 and COPD in adults. It combines two types of medicine: a corticosteroid called Budesonide which reduces lung inflammation and Formoterol fumarate dihydrate which belongs to a group of medicines called bronchodilators, relaxing and widening the blood vessels.

Why do I need to use Symbicort regularly?

Symbicort needs to be used regularly to keep your symptoms at bay and prevent an asthma attack from occurring. The medicine works to control your asthma and ease inflammation which is why it's essential to keep taking it, even if you no longer have symptoms. This means that it is working. 

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredients contained in Seretide are budesonide and formoterol fumarate dihydrate.

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredient is lactose.

Dosage

How to take Symbicort

Before using Symbicort, make sure you read the instructions thoroughly and use it as your doctor has shown you. Prepare the inhaler for first use by unscrewing the cap and hold it upright. Turn the red grip around to the other side as far as you can until it clicks and then turn it back the other way. When you are ready, repeat these steps and breathe out slowly. Seal your lips around the mouthpiece and inhale steadily. Move the inhaler away from your mouth and exhale slowly. Repeat this for each dose. 

Symbicort dosage

The standard dose of Symbicort is 1-2 puffs twice a day. This can be increased up to a maximum of 8 puffs a day. Always follow the instructions given by your doctor on how much to take. Your prescribed dose will depend on the severity of your symptoms.

What should I do if I forget to use Symbicort?

If you forget a dose of Symbicort, then don't worry, simply take it as soon as you remember. If it's nearly time for your next dose then wait until then, don't double up the dose. 

What should I do if I find I’ve used Symbicort more regularly than I should have?

If you've taken more Symbicort than you were supposed to this won't cause you harm. It may mean you are more likely to experience side effects like oral thrush. Make sure you continue to use your inhaler as your doctor has prescribed. If you are worried about having taken too much Symbicort then speak to your GP or pharmacist. 

Side Effects

Symbicort side effects

Common side effects include:

  • Oral thrush 
  • Heart palpitations 
  • Sore throat 
  • Hoarse voice
  • Headaches 
  • Pneumonia (in people with COPD) 

Less common side effects include: 

  • Restlessness 
  • Irritation 
  • Nervousness 
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Faster heartbeat
  • Muscle cramps
  • Bruising 
  • Blurry vision 

Rare side effects may include:

  • Bronchospasm
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Uneven heart rate
  • A drop in potassium levels in the blood
  • Behaviour changes
  • Mood changes
  • Chest tightness 
  • Blood pressure changes 
  • Taste changes 
  • Increased glucose content in the blood

Contraindications

Do not use Symbicort if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.

Extra care should be taken if:

  • You have diabetes 
  • You have a lung infection 
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You have a history of heart problems 
  • You have issues with your thyroid or adrenal glands 
  • The potassium levels in your blood are low 
  • You have problems with your liver

Drug interactions

Always tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications to make sure that they won't interfere with each other. In particular, the following may interact with Symbicort: 

  • Beta blockers 
  • Medicines to regulate the heartbeat 
  • Diuretics 
  • Oral steroids
  • Xanthine medicines 
  • Other types of bronchodilators
  • Tricyclic antidepressants 
  • Phenothiazine medicines 
  • Treatments for HIV
  • Anti-bacterial treatments 
  • Treatments for Parkinson's disease 
  • Treatments for thyroid issues

Coping with Symbicort side effects

Always rinse out your mouth after each time you use your inhaler. This will help to avoid a build up of bacteria which can lead to oral thrush. Brushing your teeth or using mouthwash can help get rid of an unpleasant taste. Making sure you use your inhaler correctly is the best way to avoid side effects like a sore throat, unpleasant taste or oral thrush. 

Treatment Options

Seretide vs Symbicort Inhalers

Seretide and Symbicort are both combination inhalers which work to prevent asthma attacks and manage symptoms. They can also be used to treat COPD. These inhalers work by releasing corticosteroids to reduce inhalation. The bronchodilators relax the blood vessels and allow them to widen. Symbicort is often prescribed for teenagers aged 12-17 to control their asthma, whereas Seretide is more likely to be prescribed for adults. 

Symbicort vs other asthma inhalers

Symbicort differs from other types of asthma inhalers as it is a combined inhaler, containing two different medicines. It may be prescribed for people with more severe asthma or if their symptoms worsen over time. The main two types of asthma inhalers are reliever or preventer inhalers. Reliever inhalers are prescribed to everyone diagnosed with asthma to relieve symptoms as they occur. If you need to use your reliever inhaler more than twice a week then you'll be prescribed a preventer inhaler to use every day to manage your asthma. Symbicort is a stronger type of preventer inhaler.

Q&A

Will Symbicort treat an asthma attack?

Symbicort cannot be used to treat an asthma attack. Only your Ventolin inhaler can be used to treat an asthma attack. Symbicort is a preventer inhaler which means it only works at preventing symptoms and asthma attacks.

What does Symbicort taste like?

Symbicort may leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth. This is usually caused by inhaling the medicine incorrectly so that it hits the back of the throat instead of going straight down into the lungs.

Can I take Symbicort if I'm lactose intolerant?

Symbicort does not normally cause problems for people who are lactose intolerant, however you should still mention this to the prescribing doctor. Symbicort contains only a small amount of lactose, which is not usually enough to initiate a reaction. 

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