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Budesonide and formoterol (inhalation)

Generic Name: budesonide and formoterol (inhalation) (bue DES oh nide and for MOE te rol)
Brand Name: Symbicort, Symbicort Turbuhaler, Symbicort 400/12 Turbohaler

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Jun 18, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is budesonide and formoterol inhalation?

Formoterol is a long-acting bronchodilator. Budesonide is a steroid.

Budesonide and formorterol is a combination medicine used to control and prevent the symptoms of asthma in adults and children at least 6 years old.

Budesonide and formoterol is also used to help control the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

budesonide and formoterol is not for use in treating an asthma or bronchospasm attack.

Formoterol when used alone may increase the risk of death in people with asthma. However, this risk is not increased when budesonide and formorterol are used together as a combination product.

Budesonide and formoterol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Budesonide and formorterol is not a rescue medicine for asthma attacks. Seek medical attention if your breathing problems get worse quickly, or if you think your asthma medications are not working as well.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use budesonide and formoterol if you are allergic to budesonide or formoterol.

Budesonide can weaken your immune system. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you've had within the past several weeks.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Budesonide and formorterol is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 years old.

How should I use budesonide and formoterol?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Use the medicine exactly as directed. Using too much of this medicine can cause life-threatening side effects.

If you also use an oral steroid medication, you should not stop using it suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

Budesonide and formorterol is not a rescue medicine for asthma or bronchospasm attacks. Use only fast-acting inhalation medicine for an attack. Seek medical attention if your breathing problems get worse quickly, or if you think your asthma medications are not working as well.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Do not allow a young child to use budesonide and formoterol without help from an adult.

Rinse your mouth with water after each use of your inhaler.

It may take up to 1 week before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.

Your dose needs may change if you have surgery, are ill, are under stress, or have recently had an asthma attack. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.

If you use a peak flow meter at home, tell your doctor if your numbers are lower than normal.

Store at room temperature in an upright position, with the mouthpiece down. Keep away from open flame or high heat. The canister may explode if it gets too hot. Do not puncture or burn an empty inhaler canister.

Throw the canister away when the inhalations counter shows a 0, or if it has been longer than 3 months since you first took the canister out of its foil pouch.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose and use your next dose at the regular time. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include chest pain, fast heartbeats, and feeling shaky or nervous.

What should I avoid while using budesonide and formoterol?

If this medication gets in your eyes, rinse with water and call your doctor if you have severe eye redness or irritation.

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chickenpox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using a steroid such as budesonide.

Do not use a second inhaled bronchodilator that contains formoterol or a similar medicine (such as arformoterol, formoterol, indacaterol, olodaterol, salmeterol, or vilanterol).

Budesonide and formoterol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • worsened breathing problems;

  • sores or white patches in your mouth and throat, pain when swallowing;

  • tremors, nervousness, chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • cough with mucus, feeling short of breath;

  • wheezing, choking, or other breathing problems after using this medication;

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or redness, or seeing halos around lights;

  • flu symptoms--fever, chills, body aches, unusual tiredness;

  • high blood sugar--increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odor;

  • low potassium level--leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling; or

  • signs of a hormonal disorder--tiredness or weakness, feeling light-headed, nausea, vomiting.

Budesonide can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using budesonide and formoterol.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect budesonide and formoterol?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Many drugs can affect budesonide and formoterol. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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