Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 8, 2019.
(byoo DES oh nide & for MOH te rol)
- Budesonide and Eformoterol
- Eformoterol and Budesonide
- Formoterol and Budesonide
- Formoterol Fumarate Dihydrate and Budesonide
Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.
Symbicort: Budesonide 80 mcg and formoterol fumarate dihydrate 4.5 mcg per actuation (6.9 g, 10.2 g); Budesonide 160 mcg and formoterol fumarate dihydrate 4.5 mcg per actuation (6 g, 10.2 g)
Brand Names: U.S.
- Beta2 Agonist
- Beta2-Adrenergic Agonist, Long-Acting
- Corticosteroid, Inhalant (Oral)
Formoterol: Relaxes bronchial smooth muscle by selective action on beta2 receptors with little effect on heart rate; formoterol has a long-acting effect.
Budesonide: A corticosteroid which controls the rate of protein synthesis, depresses the migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes/fibroblasts, and reverses capillary permeability and lysosomal stabilization at the cellular level to prevent or control inflammation.
Use: Labeled Indications
Asthma: Treatment of asthma in patients ≥6 years.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema; to reduce COPD exacerbations.
Limitations of use: Budesonide/formoterol is not indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm.
Off Label Uses
Asthma, acute exacerbations
Data from 2 randomized, double-blind, parallel group trials support the use of budesonide/formoterol (single combination inhaler) as quick relief on an as-needed basis for acute asthma exacerbations in patients with mild to mild to moderate asthma, and reduced overall corticosteroid exposure [Bateman 2018], [O’Byrne 2018]. In addition, data from 2 studies showed a reduction in the rate of severe asthma exacerbations when compared to use of an as-needed short-acting beta agonist [Beasley 2019], [O’Byrne 2018]. Data from 2 randomized, parallel group trials support the use of budesonide/formoterol single combination inhaler for use as maintenance and reliever therapy (SMART) and was shown to reduce the risk of severe asthma exacerbations and oral systemic corticoid exposure [Patel 2013], [Rabe 2006]. Data from a meta-analysis (15 clinical trials) also support the use of budesonide/formoterol as single maintenance and reliever therapy compared to standard therapy in patients with persistent asthma and was associated with a lower risk of asthma exacerbations [Sobieraj 2018].
Based on the Global Initiative for Asthma: Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention guidelines, use of combination low dose budesonide/formoterol single inhaler in patients with asthma exacerbations may be used as both maintenance and reliever treatment and was shown to reduce exacerbations, including exacerbations requiring oral corticosteroids and hospitalizations.
Hypersensitivity to budesonide, formoterol, or any component of the formulation; primary treatment of status asthmaticus or other acute episodes of asthma or COPD where intensive measures are required.
Documentation of allergenic cross-reactivity for corticosteroids and/or sympathomimetics are limited. However, because of similarities in chemical structure and/or pharmacologic actions, the possibility of cross-sensitivity cannot be ruled out with certainty.
Canadian labeling: Additional contraindications (not in US labeling): Hypersensitivity to inhaled lactose.
Note: If asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease symptoms occur in the period between doses, an inhaled, short-acting beta-2 agonist should be taken for immediate relief. For acute asthma exacerbations, budesonide/formoterol may be used as a reliever (Bateman 2018; GINA 2019; O’Byrne 2018; Patel 2013; Rabe 2006). For both intermittent and mild persistent asthma, use of budesonide/formoterol may be used on an as-needed basis for control of asthma symptoms (GINA 2019). Some experts may still prefer to use a short-acting beta agonist as needed for intermittent asthma and daily use of low-dose inhaled glucocorticoids for mild persistent asthma, rather than as-needed budesonide/formoterol. Both options appear equally effective in reducing the frequency and severity of exacerbations in mild persistent asthma, but symptom control is somewhat better with daily inhaled glucocorticoids (Fanta 2019). The maximum dose is based on the formoterol component; to increase the dose of the inhaled glucocorticoid component, a separate inhaler with a higher budesonide dose per inhalation must be prescribed.
Asthma (maintenance): Oral inhalation:
Starting dose is based on asthma severity.
Budesonide 80 mcg/formoterol 4.5 mcg or budesonide 160 mcg/formoterol 4.5 mcg: Metered-dose inhaler: 2 inhalations twice daily; if response is inadequate, may increase to higher dose combination after 1 to 2 weeks (maximum: budesonide 160 mcg/formoterol 4.5 mcg: 2 inhalations twice daily).
Symbicort 100 Turbuhaler, Symbicort 200 Turbuhaler [Canadian products]: Dry powder inhaler:
Initial: 1 to 2 inhalations twice daily until symptom control, then titrate to lowest effective dosage to maintain control.
Maintenance: 1 to 2 inhalations once or twice daily (maximum: 8 inhalations/day as temporary treatment in periods of worsening asthma).
Symbicort Maintenance and Reliever Therapy (Symbicort SMART) [Canadian product]: Dry powder inhaler:
Maintenance: Symbicort 100 Turbuhaler or Symbicort 200 Turbuhaler: 1 to 2 inhalations twice daily or 2 inhalations once daily.
Reliever therapy: Symbicort 100 Turbuhaler or Symbicort 200 Turbuhaler: 1 additional inhalation as needed, may repeat if no relief for up to 6 inhalations total (maximum: 8 inhalations/day).
Asthma, acute exacerbations (off-label use): Oral inhalation: Metered-dose inhaler: Note: Based on asthma severity, this regimen can be reliever only or maintenance PLUS reliever.
Budesonide 80 mcg/formoterol 4.5 mcg: 2 inhalations once or twice daily (GINA 2019; Rabe 2006).
Budesonide 160 mcg/formoterol 4.5 mcg: 2 inhalations twice daily (Patel 2013).
Reliever therapy: Budesonide 80 mcg/formoterol 4.5 mcg or budesonide 160 mcg/formoterol 4.5 mcg: 1 inhalation as needed; may repeat if no relief (Bateman 2018; Beasley 2019; GINA 2019; O’Byrne 2018; Patel 2013; Rabe 2006). Maximum: Up to 12 inhalations/day (GINA 2019; Rabe 2006).
COPD: Oral inhalation:
Budesonide 160 mcg/formoterol 4.5 mcg: Metered-dose inhaler: 2 inhalations twice daily (maximum: 2 inhalations twice daily).
Symbicort 200 Turbuhaler [Canadian product]: Dry powder inhaler: 2 inhalations twice daily (maximum: 2 inhalations twice daily).
Refer to adult dosing.
Asthma; maintenance treatment:
Symbicort: Note: Do not administer more than 2 inhalations twice daily for maintenance treatment. The maximum maintenance dose is based on the formoterol component; to increase the dose of the inhaled glucocorticoid component, a separate inhaler with a higher budesonide dose per inhalation must be prescribed. If asthma symptoms occur in the period between doses, consider an inhaled, short-acting beta-2 agonist should be taken for immediate relief.
Children 5 to <12 years (limited data available for <6 years): Budesonide 80 mcg/formoterol 4.5 mcg: Metered-dose inhaler: Oral inhalation: 2 inhalations twice daily (NAEPP 2007).
Children ≥12 years and Adolescents: Note: Initial dose prescribed should be based upon asthma severity and risk of exacerbation:
Budesonide 80 mcg/formoterol 4.5 mcg: 2 inhalations twice daily. If adequate response is not seen after 1 to 2 weeks, consider the higher dose combination.
Budesonide 160 mcg/formoterol 4.5 mcg: 2 inhalations twice daily.
Symbicort 100 Turbuhaler, Symbicort 200 Turbuhaler [Canadian products]: Children ≥12 years and Adolescents: Dry powder inhaler: Oral inhalation:
Initial: 1 to 2 inhalations twice daily until symptom control, then titrate to lowest effective dosage to maintain control.
Maintenance: 1 to 2 inhalations once or twice daily; may increase to 4 inhalations twice daily as temporary treatment in periods of worsening asthma; maximum daily dose: 8 inhalations/day.
Symbicort Maintenance and Reliever Therapy (Symbicort SMART) [Canadian product]:
Maintenance: 1 to 2 inhalations twice daily or 2 inhalations once daily.
Reliever therapy: 1 additional inhalation as needed, may repeat if no relief for up to 6 inhalations total; maximum daily dose: 8 inhalations/day.
Asthma, acute exacerbation: Note: Based on asthma severity, this regimen is for use when patient is on budesonide/formoterol as maintenance to allow for a single inhaler for both maintenance PLUS reliever; the benefit seems to be greatest with very early signs of exacerbation (GINA 2018). Limited data available:
Children 4 to 11 years: Budesonide 80 mcg/formoterol 4.5 mcg: Oral inhalation:
Maintenance: 1 inhalation once daily at bedtime (Bisgaard 2006; O'Byrne 2005).
Reliever therapy: 1 inhalation as needed; may repeat if no relief; maximum daily dose: 8 inhalations/day (including maintenance dose) (Bisgaard 2006; O'Byrne 2005).
Children ≥12 years and Adolescents: Budesonide 80 mcg/formoterol 4.5 mcg: Oral inhalation:
Maintenance: 1 inhalation twice daily or 2 inhalations once daily at bedtime (O'Byrne 2005; Rabe 2006).
Reliever therapy: 1 inhalation as needed; may repeat if no relief; maximum daily dose: 11 inhalations/day (including maintenance dose) (O'Byrne 2018; Rabe 2006).
Metered-dose inhaler: For oral inhalation only administered every morning and evening, approximately 12 hours apart. Prior to first use, inhaler must be primed by releasing 2 test sprays into the air; shake well for 5 seconds before each spray. Inhaler must be reprimed if not used for >7 days or if it has been dropped. Shake well for 5 seconds before each use. Discard inhaler after the labeled number of inhalations have been used or within 3 months after removal from foil pouch. Rinse mouth with water (spit out without swallowing) after each use. Do not wash inhaler with water; clean mouthpiece using a dry wipe every 7 days.
Delivery of dose: Instruct patient to place mouthpiece gently between teeth, closing lips around inhaler. Instruct patient to inhale deeply, press the top counter, and hold breath for up to 10 seconds or as long as they comfortably can. Remove mouthpiece from mouth prior to exhalation. Patient should not breathe out through the mouthpiece. Wait ≥30 seconds prior to the second inhalation dose.
Dry powder inhaler: Symbicort Turbuhaler [Canadian product]:
To “load” inhaler: Turn red grip on inhaler as far as it will move in one direction, then turn in opposite direction as far as it will go (inhaler is “loaded” with a dose, indicated by a “click”). Prior to first use, this procedure should be done twice, it does not need to be repeated with subsequent uses even when not used regularly.
Delivery of dose: Instruct patient to place mouthpiece gently between teeth, closing lips around inhaler. Instruct patient to inhale deeply and hold breath for as long as they comfortably can. Remove mouthpiece prior to exhalation. Patient should not breathe out through the mouthpiece. Dose is lost if patient drops, shakes, or exhales into inhaler after a dose has been loaded. After use of the inhaler, patient should rinse mouth/oropharynx with water and spit out rinse solution. Do not wash inhaler with water; clean mouthpiece using a dry wipe every 7 days.
Symbicort 80/4.5, Symbicort 160/4.5: Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F) with mouthpiece down; temperatures above 49°C (120°F) may cause bursting. Contents under pressure; do not puncture, incinerate, or store near heat or open flame. Discard inhaler after the labeled number of inhalations have been used (the dose counter will read “0”) or within 3 months after removal from foil pouch.
Symbicort Turbuhaler [Canadian product]: Store at room temperature of 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 77°F).
Aldesleukin: Corticosteroids may diminish the antineoplastic effect of Aldesleukin. Avoid combination
Amphotericin B: Corticosteroids (Orally Inhaled) may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Amphotericin B. Monitor therapy
AtoMOXetine: May enhance the tachycardic effect of Beta2-Agonists. Monitor therapy
AtoMOXetine: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. AtoMOXetine may enhance the tachycardic effect of Sympathomimetics. Monitor therapy
Atosiban: Beta2-Agonists may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Atosiban. Specifically, there may be an increased risk for pulmonary edema and/or dyspnea. Monitor therapy
Beta2-Agonists (Long-Acting): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other Beta2-Agonists (Long-Acting). Avoid combination
Beta-Blockers (Beta1 Selective): May diminish the bronchodilatory effect of Beta2-Agonists. Of particular concern with nonselective beta-blockers or higher doses of the beta1 selective beta-blockers. Monitor therapy
Beta-Blockers (Nonselective): May diminish the bronchodilatory effect of Beta2-Agonists. Avoid combination
Betahistine: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Beta2-Agonists. Monitor therapy
Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Formoterol. Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Formoterol. Monitor therapy
Cannabinoid-Containing Products: May enhance the tachycardic effect of Sympathomimetics. Exceptions: Cannabidiol. Monitor therapy
Cocaine (Topical): May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. Management: Consider alternatives to use of this combination when possible. Monitor closely for substantially increased blood pressure or heart rate and for any evidence of myocardial ischemia with concurrent use. Consider therapy modification
Corticorelin: Corticosteroids may diminish the therapeutic effect of Corticorelin. Specifically, the plasma ACTH response to corticorelin may be blunted by recent or current corticosteroid therapy. Monitor therapy
Cosyntropin: Corticosteroids (Orally Inhaled) may diminish the diagnostic effect of Cosyntropin. Monitor therapy
CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Strong): May increase the serum concentration of Budesonide (Oral Inhalation). Monitor therapy
Deferasirox: Corticosteroids may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Deferasirox. Specifically, the risk for GI ulceration/irritation or GI bleeding may be increased. Monitor therapy
Desmopressin: Corticosteroids (Orally Inhaled) may enhance the hyponatremic effect of Desmopressin. Avoid combination
Doxofylline: Sympathomimetics may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Doxofylline. Monitor therapy
Guanethidine: May enhance the arrhythmogenic effect of Sympathomimetics. Guanethidine may enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. Monitor therapy
Haloperidol: QT-prolonging Agents (Indeterminate Risk - Caution) may enhance the QTc-prolonging effect of Haloperidol. Monitor therapy
Hyaluronidase: Corticosteroids may diminish the therapeutic effect of Hyaluronidase. Management: Patients receiving corticosteroids (particularly at larger doses) may not experience the desired clinical response to standard doses of hyaluronidase. Larger doses of hyaluronidase may be required. Consider therapy modification
Inhalational Anesthetics: May enhance the arrhythmogenic effect of Formoterol. Monitor therapy
Linezolid: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. Management: Reduce initial doses of sympathomimetic agents, and closely monitor for enhanced pressor response, in patients receiving linezolid. Specific dose adjustment recommendations are not presently available. Consider therapy modification
Loop Diuretics: Beta2-Agonists may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Loop Diuretics. Monitor therapy
Loop Diuretics: Corticosteroids (Orally Inhaled) may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Loop Diuretics. Monitor therapy
Loxapine: Agents to Treat Airway Disease may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Loxapine. More specifically, the use of Agents to Treat Airway Disease is likely a marker of patients who are likely at a greater risk for experiencing significant bronchospasm from use of inhaled loxapine. Management: This is specific to the Adasuve brand of loxapine, which is an inhaled formulation. This does not apply to non-inhaled formulations of loxapine. Avoid combination
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Beta2-Agonists. Monitor therapy
QT-prolonging Agents (Highest Risk): QT-prolonging Agents (Indeterminate Risk - Caution) may enhance the QTc-prolonging effect of QT-prolonging Agents (Highest Risk). Management: Monitor for QTc interval prolongation and ventricular arrhythmias when these agents are combined. Patients with additional risk factors for QTc prolongation may be at even higher risk. Monitor therapy
Ritodrine: Corticosteroids may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Ritodrine. Monitor therapy
Solriamfetol: Sympathomimetics may enhance the hypertensive effect of Solriamfetol. Monitor therapy
Sympathomimetics: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other Sympathomimetics. Monitor therapy
Tedizolid: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. Tedizolid may enhance the tachycardic effect of Sympathomimetics. Monitor therapy
Theophylline Derivatives: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Formoterol. Theophylline Derivatives may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Formoterol. Monitor therapy
Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics: Beta2-Agonists may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics. Monitor therapy
Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics: Corticosteroids (Orally Inhaled) may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics. Monitor therapy
Tobacco (Smoked): May diminish the therapeutic effect of Corticosteroids (Orally Inhaled). Monitor therapy
Tricyclic Antidepressants: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Beta2-Agonists. Monitor therapy
Reported incidences are for adolescents and adults unless specified otherwise. Also see individual agents.
Central nervous system: Headache (7% to 11%; children: ≥3%)
Respiratory: Nasopharyngitis (7% to 11%), upper respiratory tract infection (4% to 11%; children: ≥3%)
1% to 10%:
Gastrointestinal: Abdominal distress (1% to 7%), oral candidiasis (1% to 6%), vomiting (1% to 3%)
Infection: Influenza (2% to 3%)
Neuromuscular & skeletal: Back pain (2% to 3%)
Respiratory: Pharyngolaryngeal pain (6% to 9%), pulmonary infection (7% to 8%), lower respiratory tract infection (3% to 8%), sinusitis (4% to 6%), bronchitis (5%), nasal congestion (3%), pharyngitis (children: ≥3%), rhinitis (children: ≥3%)
<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Agitation, anaphylaxis, angina pectoris, angioedema, atrial arrhythmia, behavioral changes, bronchospasm, bruise, cataract, cough, decreased linear skeletal growth rate (pediatric patients), depression, dermatitis, dizziness, extrasystoles, glaucoma, hypercorticoidism signs and symptoms, hyperglycemia, hypersensitivity reaction, hypertension, hypokalemia, hypotension, immunosuppression, increased intraocular pressure, insomnia, muscle cramps, nausea, nervousness, palpitations, pruritus, restlessness, skin rash, tachycardia, throat irritation, tremor, urticaria, ventricular arrhythmia, voice disorder
Concerns related to adverse effects:
• Adrenal suppression: May cause hypercortisolism or suppression of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, particularly in younger children or in patients receiving high doses for prolonged periods. HPA axis suppression may lead to adrenal crisis. Withdrawal and discontinuation of a corticosteroid should be done slowly and carefully. Particular care is required when patients are transferred from systemic corticosteroids to inhaled products due to possible adrenal insufficiency or withdrawal from steroids, including an increase in allergic symptoms. Adult patients receiving >20 mg per day of prednisone (or equivalent) may be most susceptible. Fatalities have occurred due to adrenal insufficiency in asthmatic patients during and after transfer from systemic corticosteroids to aerosol steroids; aerosol steroids do not provide the systemic steroid needed to treat patients having trauma, surgery, or infections. Do not use this product to transfer patients from oral corticosteroid therapy.
• Asthma-related deaths: Monotherapy with a long-acting beta-2 agonist (LABA) is contraindicated in the treatment of asthma. In a large, randomized, placebo-controlled US clinical trial (SMART 2006), salmeterol was associated with an increase in asthma-related deaths (when added to usual asthma therapy); risk is considered a class effect among all LABAs. When LABAs are used in a fixed-dose combination with inhaled corticosteroids, data from large clinical trials do not show a significant increase in the risk of serious asthma-related events (hospitalizations, intubations, death) compared to inhaled corticosteroids alone. Current guidelines recommend the use of an inhaled corticosteroid before adding an LABA (GINA 2019; NIH/NHLBI 2007). In a more recent multicenter, randomized, double-blinded trial, the use of salmeterol and an inhaled corticosteroid (ie, fluticasone) combined in a single inhaler in a large number of children, adolescent, and adult patients with persistent asthma (non-life threatening and stable) did not increase the risk of serious asthma-related events compared with fluticasone alone; in addition, patients receiving fluticasone/salmeterol had fewer severe asthma exacerbations compared with patients receiving fluticasone alone (Peters 2016; Stempel 2016a; Stempel 2016b). No data exist associating LABA use with an increased risk of death in patients with COPD.
• Bone density: Long-term use of inhaled corticosteroids have been associated with decreases in bone mineral density. Use with caution in patients with major risk factors for decreased bone mineral count such as prolonged immobilization, family history of osteoporosis, postmenopausal status, tobacco use, advanced age, poor nutrition, or chronic use of drugs that can reduce bone mass (eg, anticonvulsants or oral corticosteroids); high doses and/or long-term use of inhaled corticosteroids have been associated with decreases in bone mineral density.
• Bronchospasm: Rarely, paradoxical bronchospasm may occur with use of inhaled bronchodilating agents; this should be distinguished from inadequate response.
• Hypersensitivity reactions: Immediate hypersensitivity reactions (urticaria, angioedema, rash, bronchospasm) have been reported.
• Immunosuppression: Prolonged use of corticosteroids may increase the incidence of secondary infection, mask acute infection (including fungal infections), prolong or exacerbate viral infections, or limit response to vaccines. Avoid use if possible in patients with ocular herpes; active or quiescent tuberculosis infections of the respiratory tract; or untreated viral, fungal, or bacterial or parasitic systemic infections. Exposure to chickenpox or measles should be avoided; if the patient is exposed to chickenpox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin or pooled intravenous immunoglobulin may be indicated; if chickenpox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered. If exposure to measles, prophylaxis with pooled intramuscular immunoglobulin may be indicated.
• Lower respiratory infections: Pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract infections have been reported in patients with COPD following the use of inhaled corticosteroids; monitor COPD patients closely since pneumonia symptoms may overlap symptoms of exacerbations.
• Oral candidiasis: Local oropharyngeal Candida infections have been reported; if this occurs, treat appropriately while either continuing or interrupting (if necessary) budesonide/formoterol therapy.
• Serious effects/fatalities: Do not exceed recommended dose; serious adverse events, including fatalities, have been associated with excessive use of inhaled sympathomimetics.
• Vasculitis: Rare cases of vasculitis (eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis [formerly known as Churg-Strauss]) or other systemic eosinophilic conditions can occur; often associated with decrease and/or withdrawal of oral corticosteroid therapy following initiation of inhaled corticosteroid.
• Asthma: Appropriate use: Short-acting beta-2 agonist (eg, albuterol) should be used for acute symptoms and symptoms occurring between treatments. For acute asthma exacerbations, budesonide/formoterol may also be used as a reliever (Patel 2013, Rabe 2006). Do not initiate in patients with significantly worsening or acutely deteriorating asthma.
• Cardiovascular disease: Use with caution in patients with cardiovascular disease (arrhythmia, coronary insufficiency, or hypertension); beta agonists may cause elevation in blood pressure, heart rate and result in CNS stimulation/excitation. Beta-2 agonists may also increase risk of arrhythmias and ECG changes, such as flattening of the T-wave, prolongation of the QTc interval, and ST segment depression. Use with caution following acute MI; corticosteroids have been associated with myocardial rupture.
• COPD: Appropriate use: Do not use for acute episodes of COPD. Do not initiate in patients with significantly worsening or acutely deteriorating COPD. Data are not available to determine if LABA use increases the risk of death in patients with COPD.
• Diabetes: Use with caution in patients with diabetes mellitus; beta-2 agonists may increase serum glucose and aggravate preexisting diabetes mellitus and ketoacidosis.
• Hepatic impairment: Use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment; may lead to accumulation of budesonide and formoterol; monitor closely.
• Hypokalemia: Use with caution in patients with hypokalemia; beta-2 agonists may decrease serum potassium (transient).
• Ocular disease: Use with caution in patients with cataracts and/or glaucoma; increased intraocular pressure, open-angle glaucoma, and cataracts have occurred with prolonged use of inhaled corticosteroids. Consider routine eye exams in chronic users.
• Seizure disorders: Use with caution in patients with seizure disorders; beta agonists may result in CNS stimulation/excitation.
• Thyroid disease: Changes in thyroid status may necessitate dosage adjustments; metabolic clearance of corticosteroids increases in hyperthyroid patients and decreases in hypothyroidism.
Concurrent drug therapy issues:
• Drug-drug interactions: Potentially significant interactions may exist, requiring dose or frequency adjustment, additional monitoring, and/or selection of alternative therapy. Consult Drug Interactions for more detailed information.
• Pediatric: LABAs when used as monotherapy, may increase the risk of asthma-related hospitalization in pediatric and adolescent patients. When LABAs are used in a fixed-dose combination with inhaled corticosteroids, data from large clinical trials in adolescents do not show a significant increase in the risk of serious asthma-related events (hospitalizations, intubations, death) compared to inhaled corticosteroids alone. Orally inhaled corticosteroids may cause a reduction in growth velocity in pediatric patients (~1 centimeter per year [range 0.3 to 1.8 cm per year] and related to dose and duration of exposure). To minimize the systemic effects of orally inhaled corticosteroids, each patient should be titrated to the lowest effective dose. Growth should be routinely monitored in pediatric patients.
• Discontinuation of systemic corticosteroids: Withdraw systemic corticosteroid therapy with gradual tapering of dose; consider reducing the daily prednisone dose by 2.5 mg on a weekly basis beginning after at least 1 week of inhalation therapy. Monitor lung function, beta agonist use, asthma symptoms, and for signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency (fatigue, lassitude, weakness, nausea and vomiting, hypotension) during withdrawal.
FEV1, peak flow meter and/or other pulmonary function tests; monitor growth in pediatric patients, symptom relief, monitor for increased use if short-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists (may be a sign of asthma or COPD deterioration); HPA axis suppression; bone mineral density; blood pressure, heart rate; CNS stimulation; serum glucose, serum potassium
Adverse events were observed in animal reproduction studies using this combination. Refer to individual agents.
What is this drug used for?
• It is used to treat COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
• It is used to treat asthma.
• This drug is not to be used to treat intense flare-ups of shortness of breath. Use a rescue inhaler. Talk with the doctor.
Frequently reported side effects of this drug
• Throat pain
• Back pain
• Common cold symptoms
• Abdominal pain
Other side effects of this drug: Talk with your doctor right away if you have any of these signs of:
• High blood sugar like confusion, fatigue, increased thirst, increased hunger, polyuria, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
• Low potassium like muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps, or an abnormal heartbeat.
• Adrenal gland problems like severe nausea, vomiting, severe dizziness, passing out, muscle weakness, severe fatigue, mood changes, lack of appetite, or weight loss.
• Chest pain
• Fast heartbeat
• Mouth irritation
• Mouth sores
• Bone pain
• Passing out
• Severe headache
• Severe nausea
• Severe loss of strength and energy
• Burning or numbness feeling
• Flu-like signs
• Vision changes
• Eye pain
• Severe eye irritation
• Severe pulmonary disorder like lung or breathing problems like difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or a cough that is new or worse.
• Signs of a significant reaction like wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about budesonide / formoterol
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 155 Reviews
- Drug class: bronchodilator combinations
- FDA Alerts (3)
- Budesonide and formoterol inhalation
- Budesonide and Formoterol
- Budesonide and formoterol Inhalation (Advanced Reading)
Other brands: Symbicort