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Symbicort is the aerosol mixture of budesonide and formoterol. It is an aerosol spray inhaled orally. Budesonide is a corticosteroid which is used to reduce inflammation. Formoterol is a slow-acting bronchodilator used for opening the bronchioles to assist respiration.


Additional information




1 inhaler, 3 inhalers, 6 inhalers


Common use

Symbicort can help prevent and treat asthma in adults and children more than six years old.
Symbicort can help treat forms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease including emphysema and bronchitis.
Symbicort is a slow-acting formula that works in conjunction with fast-acting drugs to relieve asthma and COPD symptoms. Symbicort is not a replacement for fast-acting asthma medications or rescue inhalers.
Symbicort works by reducing inflammation and dilating the bronchioles, thus relieving some of the main symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Asthma.

Dosage and direction

Symbicort is administered twice daily with 12 hours between administrations. Each administration consists of two oral inhalations of Symbicort.  Be sure to follow the dosage and usage instructions provided by your doctor.
To administer Symbicort:

Shake well, and inspect mouthpiece for debris.
Exhale fully and seal mouth around the mouthpiece of the Symbicort inhaler, aiming the upright inhaler at the back of your throat.
Press down firmly on the top of the inhaler while inhaling deeply and slowly.
Inhale for as long as is comfortable, and hold your breath for several seconds.
Release your finger from the top of the inhaler, remove the inhaler, and breathe normally.
Repeat 1-6 for second dose.
Rinse mouth thoroughly after use.



Symbicort is a slow acting anti inflammatory and bronchodilator. It is not a rescue inhaler and should not be used as a first resort to treat an asthma attack, as its effects are too slow.
If you experience an asthma attack, take only your fast-acting medication. If relief does not follow, do not take Symbicort, dial 911. 
If Symbicort gets into your eyes, rinse thoroughly with water. If redness or irritation persists, contact your doctor.


Symbicort is contraindicated as a primary treatment for asthma or COPD. Symbicort should only be used in conjunction with other asthma or COPD treatments.
Symbicort is contraindicated for patients who experience hypersensitivity or allergy to budesonide or formoterol.

Possible side effect

Possible common side effects of Symbicort are flu-like symptoms including
Runny nose
Aches and tiredness
Tenderness around the nose and eyes
Ear congestion
Sore throat, difficulty breathing, coughing, sneezing, loss of voice
Fever and chills
Tightness in chest
Less common side effects of Symbicort include

Frequent urge to urinate, bladder pain, bloody or cloudy urine, burning pain while urinating
Congestion, mucus producing cough, dry throat, hoarseness
Diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting, loss of appetite
Erratic or irregular pulse, increased pulse
Joint pain
Tenderness or pain in lower back or side
Tenderness or swelling around neck and throat, sore mouth or tongue, voice changes, noisy breathing, trouble swallowing, white patches on the tongue or mouth
Shaking or trembling of the extremities and limbs
Shivering, sweating
Trouble sleeping

Rare and serious side effects of Symbicort include

Blurred vision, confusion, dizziness, fainting, seizures
Dry mouth
Enlarged pupils, sensitivity to light
Flushed skin
Fruit-like breath odor
Hive like swellings on mouth, tongue, throat, face, hands, feet or genitals
Severe headache
Severe chest pain, irregular heart beat


Drug interaction

Symbicort should not be taken with other anti-inflammatory drugs or other bronchodilators. Symbicort should not be used with expectorants. Symbicort may reduce the effectiveness of certain blood glucose affecting drugs or stomach acid affecting drugs.
For more complete drug interaction information, refer to the complete list of interactions provided with your Symbicort inhaler or ask your pharmacist.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of Symbicort, take your next scheduled dose. Do not take a “make-up” dose.


If an overdose occurs, contact your doctor immediately. Overdose symptoms may include becoming extremely short of breath, having an erratic pulse, or becoming disoriented. If one or more of these side effects occur, dial 911.


Symbicort should be kept upright in a dry location between 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F).
If your Symbicort inhaler has not been used for seven days or more, you must prime the inhaler by shaking it for five seconds and spraying a dose away from yourself.


We provide only general information about medications which does not cover all directions, possible drug integrations, or precautions. Information at the site cannot be used for self-treatment and self-diagnosis. Any specific instructions for a particular patient should be agreed with your health care advisor or doctor in charge of the case. We disclaim reliability of this information and mistakes it could contain. We are not responsible for any direct, indirect, special or other indirect damage as a result of any use of the information on this site and also for consequences of self-treatment.

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