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What is Symbicort Inhaler (budesonide/formoterol)?

Symbicort Inhaler (budesonide/formoterol) is a type of inhaler commonly prescribed to asthma patients. Budesonide is classified as a corticosteroid medication, while formoterol is a long-acting bronchodilator. These two ingredients combine to improve breathing by reducing inflammation and relaxing the airway muscles. Patients using Symbicort should be at least six years old. In addition to asthma, the Symbicort Inhaler can be used to manage symptoms of COPD, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis.

Before using the Symbicort Inhaler, review all packaged warnings and instructions.
Always follow your doctor’s directions when using Symbicort.

  • Ensure the inhaler device is cleaned and primed before use
  • To prevent life-threatening side effects, do not use more than prescribed
  • Shake inhaler in an upright position for five seconds
  • Remove the mouthpiece cover by squeezing both sides before pulling
  • Fully exhale, then hold the inhaler up to your mouth
  • Place the mouthpiece fully into your mouth, closing your lips around it
  • Inhale slowly. As you inhale, press the top button down to release the medicine
  • Hold your breath for ten seconds
  • Release your finger from the medicine trigger before you exhale
  • Remove the inhaler from your mouth


The Symbicort Inhaler is not designed as a rescue emergency quick-relief inhaler. This means it will not work fast enough to relieve an asthma attack. Before using Symbicort, understand that budesonide can weaken the immune system. To prevent serious illness or infection, tell your doctor if you have ever had one of the following:

  • a drug allergy
  • a seizure
  • a thyroid disorder
  • a weak immune system
  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as low potassium levels in your blood)
  • diabetes
  • glaucoma, cataracts, or other vision problems
  • heart disease, high blood pressure
  • liver disease
  • osteoporosis
  • tuberculosis

Side Effects of Symbicort Inhaler

Common side effects of Symbicort Inhaler include:

  • back pain, headache
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, sinus pain, sore throat
  • flu symptoms
  • stomach discomfort, vomiting
  • throat pain or irritation
  • white patches in your mouth or throat

An allergic reaction Symbicort may require immediate medical assistance. Additionally, call your doctor promptly if you have:

  • Blurred vision or eye pain
  • Flu symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue, or body aches
  • High blood sugar symptoms like increased thirst, urination, or dry mouth
  • Hives or difficulty breathing
  • Mucus in your cough
  • Pain when swallowing or white patches in your mouth and throat
  • Swelling in your lips, throat, tongue, or face
  • Symptoms of a hormonal disorder including tiredness, weakness, nausea, and vomiting
  • Symptoms of low potassium like leg cramps, constipation, muscle weakness, or irregular heartbeats
  • Tremors or chest pain


What should I do if I miss a dose of budesonide/formoterol?

Missing a dose of Symbicort Inhaler (budesonide/formoterol) shouldn’t worry you too much. Just remember not to take two doses at one time. The best thing to do if you miss a dose is to skip the missed dose and use your next dose at its scheduled time.

Is it possible to overdose with budesonide/formoterol?

Yes, taking too much budesonide/formoterol can result in fast heartbeats, a shaky or nervous feeling, and chest pain. If you overdose with Symbicort, seek medical attention or contact your local poison control helpline.

What should I do if I get Symbicort medicine in my eyes?

Budesonide/formoterol should not come into contact with the eyes. If Symbicort gets into your eyes, rinse with water and contact your doctor right away. Symbicort can cause severe eye redness or irritation in the eyes.

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