Like any other prescription medication you must consult a doctor before using Symbicort.
PrivateDoc offers a confidential free consultation service that may result in you receiving a prescription for Symbicort if it is deemed appropriate and Symbicort can prescribed safely.
Complete a 100% free and secure consultation to explore your treatment options. How our online prescription consultation works.
What is Symbicort
Symbicort turbohaler is used to treat people whose asthma is not controlled with regular corticosteroids and as needed short-acting bronchodilators/relievers, e.g. Salbutamol. As it is a single inhaler it can also simplify treatment for people who are already using both a corticosteroid inhaler and a long-acting bronchodilator inhaler.
Symbicort can be taken regularly to prevent asthma attacks, maintenance therapy, with a separate reliever inhaler, e.g. Salbutamol, used to relieve asthma attacks. Symbicort inhalers are a prescription only medicine, like any other prescription medication you must consult a doctor before using it.
Patients who are receiving SYMBICORT should not use additional formoterol or other long acting beta agonists for any reason.
Private Doc offers a confidential free consultation service that may result in you receiving a prescription for Symbicort Inhalers if it is deemed appropriate and can prescribed safely.
Complete a 100% free and secure consultation to explore your treatment options.
Who can use Symbicort
Private Doc will prescribe Symbicort inhalers where they are suitable. People qualify for Symbicort if:
- They have been using Symbicort inhalers for the last year.
- They have had no problems with Symbicort inhalers in the last year.
They have had a face-to-face check-up with an Asthma Nurse or Doctor in the last year.
How to take Symbicort
Symbicort Turbohaler contains two active ingredients, Budesonide and Formoterol Fumarate.
In asthma the airways tighten due to inflammation and can also be blocked by mucus. This makes it difficult for air to get into and out of the lungs. Budesonide is used in asthma to prevent the inflammation and excess mucus formation, and therefore help prevent asthma attacks and shortness of breath.
In asthma there is narrowing of the airways. By relaxing and opening the airways, Formoterol makes it easier to breathe. Formoterol starts to work in one to three minutes and its effects last for about 12 hours.
Inhaling the medicines allows them to act directly in the lungs where they are needed. It also reduces the potential for side effects in other parts of the body, as the amount absorbed into the blood through the lungs is lower than if the medicines are taken by mouth.
Unlike metered dose inhalers, the Symbicort Turbohaler does not require co-ordination of pressing a canister and breathing in at the same time. Instead, you simply breathe in through the mouthpiece of the Turbohaler and the medicine will follow the inhaled air into the lungs. You may not taste or feel the medicine as it is inhaled. It is important to breathe in forcefully and deeply through the mouthpiece to ensure that an optimal dose is delivered to the lungs. Never breathe out through the mouthpiece. You can get more advice from your doctor, asthma nurse or pharmacist on using the Symbicort Turbohaler.
Possible side effects
- Follow the printed instructions you have been given with this medicine carefully. You should breath in forcefully and deeply through the mouthpiece of the Turbohaler to ensure the correct dose reaches the lungs. You may not taste or feel any medication when using the Turbohaler, as only a small amount of medicine is released. Never breath out through the mouthpiece.
- Inhaling corticosteroids can sometimes cause a fungal infection called in the mouth called Oral Thrush. To minimise the risk of this, you should rinse your mouth with water after each time you use this inhaler. Consult your doctor if you develop white patches in your mouth or throat, as these are symptoms of thrush and it may need to be treated.
- Don't exceed the dose of this medicine that your doctor has recommended you use.
- If you have been prescribed Symbicort Turbohaler as maintenance and reliever therapy for asthma, you should make sure you carry it with you at all times so you can use it to relieve an asthma attack if needed. If you have been prescribed a separate reliever inhaler you should make sure you carry that with you at all times to relieve shortness of breath if needed.
- If you need to use your reliever medicine, either your separate reliever inhaler, e.g. Salbutamol, or your Symbicort Turbohaler, more frequently, or if it becomes less effective at treating attacks, you should consult your doctor because this may indicate that you are having a flare-up of your asthma, or it is getting worse.
- You should not suddenly stop using this medicine, even if you don't currently have any symptoms, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. This is because stopping maintenance treatment is likely to make your asthma symptoms return.
- Inhalers may cause an unexpected increase in wheezing and difficulty breathing, paradoxical bronchospasm, straight after using them. If this happens, don't use the inhaler again, use a separate reliever inhaler to open your airways and consult your doctor immediately.
- Inhaled corticosteroids have considerably fewer side effects than steroids taken by mouth. However, when taken for long periods of time at high doses, inhaled steroids do have the potential to cause side effects such as Glaucoma, Cataracts, thinning of the bones osteoporosis, slowed growth in children and adolescents, and to suppress the functioning of the adrenal glands, glands that produce natural steroid hormones. For this reason your doctor will prescribe the lowest effective dose to control your symptoms, and monitor for these side effects. Do not exceed the dose of this medicine that your doctor has prescribed for you. It is recommended that children receiving long-term treatment with corticosteroids have their growth monitored. If a child's growth appears to be slowed your doctor may refer them to a Paediatrician. For further information talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
- People with severe asthma should have regular blood tests to monitor the amount of potassium in their blood. This is because low oxygen levels in the blood – hypoxia, and various asthma medicines, including this one, can potentially lower blood potassium levels.
Symbicort should be used with caution by people with:
- Severe Liver Disease
- A History of Tuberculosis
- Tumour of the Adrenal Gland - phaeochromocytoma
- Heart Disease
- Narrowing of the Arteries
- Irregular Heart Beat
- High Blood Pressure
- Over Active Thyroid
- Fungal or viral infections in the airways
Symbicort should not be used by
- People with known sensitivity or allergy to any ingredient.
- Symbicort 100 Turbohaler is not recommended for children under six years of age. Symbicort 200 and 400 Turbohalers are not recommended for children under 12 years of age.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- It is important that asthma is well controlled in pregnant women. Wherever possible, asthma medications should be taken by inhaler, as this minimises the amount of medicine that enters the bloodstream and crosses the placenta to the developing baby.
- Symbicort Turbohaler should be used with caution during pregnancy and only if the benefits outweigh any possible risks to the developing baby. Seek further medical advice from your doctor.
- In general, asthma inhalers can be used as normal during breastfeeding, because the amount of medicine that passes into breast milk after using an inhaler is negligible and unlikely to harm the baby. The Budesonide in this inhaler does pass into breast milk and is not expected to have any effects on a nursing child. However, it is not known if the Formoterol in this inhaler passes into breast milk. You should seek medical advice from your doctor before breastfeeding while using this medicine.