This combination product contains two medications: budesonide and formoterol. Budesonide belongs to the group of medications known as corticosteroids. It works by reducing the swelling in the airways of the lungs. Formoterol belongs to the group of medications known as bronchodilators. It works by relaxing the muscles surrounding the airways and allowing the airways to open.
How should I use this medication?
For asthma treatment, budesonide – formoterol can be used for reliever therapy, maintenance therapy, or for maintenance plus reliever therapy.
The starting dose of budesonide – formoterol is based on control of your symptoms. After asthma symptoms are controlled, your doctor will adjust your dose to the lowest regular dose that prevents asthma symptoms.
This medication is inhaled into the lungs through the mouth, using the device that contains the medications (Turbuhaler®). Your health care professional should show you how to use the device. If you are not sure about how to use the device, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
When used as a “reliever” inhaler, the recommended dose is 200 µg inhaled once. If you still have difficulty breathing, another dose may be inhaled after several minutes. Do not inhale more than 6 doses for a single episode. No more than 8 inhalations should be used in a 24-hour period.
For maintenance therapy, the recommended dose for adults and adolescents over 12 years of age is 100 µg to 400 µg of budesonide, which is equivalent to 1 to 2 inhalations (or puffs) of Symbicort® 100 or Symbicort® 200, 1 or 2 times daily. If you need fast relief from asthma symptoms, use your fast-acting “reliever” (or “rescue”) medication such as formoterol, terbutaline, or salbutamol. The maximum recommended daily maintenance dose is 4 inhalations. When asthma is worsening, the dose can temporarily be increased to a maximum of 4 inhalations twice daily.
With the higher-strength product, Symbicort® Forte, a 400 µg dose is achieved with 1 puff, which may be inhaled 1 or 2 times a day. The maximum daily dose of this product is 2 puffs (800 µg) inhaled twice daily.
For maintenance and reliever therapy, the recommended dose for adults and adolescents over 12 years of age is 1 to 2 inhalations 2 times daily or 2 inhalations once daily. If you need fast relief from asthma symptoms, use 1 additional inhalation as needed and repeat after a few minutes (to a maximum of 6 inhalations) if symptoms persist. The maximum recommended total daily dose is 8 inhalations. Symbicort® Forte should not be used as a reliever medication.
When used as COPD maintenance therapy, the recommended dose is 400 µg of budesonide (2 inhalations of Symbicort® 200 or 1 inhalation of Symbicort® Forte), inhaled 2 times daily. The maximum recommended daily dose is 800 µg of budesonide.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
When used regularly, this medication can reduce the number and severity of episodes of difficulty breathing. Regular daily use is important for its effectiveness.
Budesonide – formoterol turbuhaler should be used regularly, even when you are not experiencing any symptoms.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, use it as soon as possible and then continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature with the cover on tight, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.