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Symbicort Turbohaler
Symbicort Turbohaler
Symbicort Turbuhaler
Budesonide, Formoterol Fumarate Dihydrate
Select product strength & quantity:
Symbicort Turbuhaler
Budesonide, Formoterol Fumarate Dihydrate
Select product strength & quantity:

Prescription Required.

Product of Canada.

Shipped from Canada.

Prescription Required.Product of Canada.Shipped from Canada.

What is Symbicort Turbohaler?

Symbicort Turbohaler is an inhaler used to help people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) breathe easier. It contains two active ingredients: budesonide and formoterol.

Budesonide is a corticosteroid that reduces lung inflammation, helping prevent breathing problems. Formoterol is a long-acting beta2-agonist that relaxes the muscles around the airways, keeping them open to make breathing easier and prevent symptoms like wheezing and chest tightness.

However, Symbicort Turbohaler is not meant for sudden breathing problems and should not replace a rescue inhaler.

Dosage Information and Usage

Dosage Form and Strengths of Symbicort Turbohaler

  • Symbicort Turbohaler is available in two strengths:
    • 80 mcg budesonide / 4.5 mcg formoterol
    • 160 mcg budesonide / 4.5 mcg formoterol
  • Each inhaler contains 60 or 120 doses.

Usage

For asthma, it is prescribed for patients aged 6 and older who need more than a regular asthma-control medication. It’s taken twice daily to control and prevent asthma symptoms, but it is not meant for sudden breathing problems.

For COPD, Symbicort Turbohaler 160/4.5 is used for long-term maintenance to improve breathing and reduce flare-ups.

Steps on How to Use Symbicort Turbohaler

  • Prepare the Inhaler:
    • Remove Symbicort from the protective foil pouch.
    • Write the date you opened the pouch on the box.
    • If you are using the inhaler for the first time, or if it hasn’t been used for more than 7 days, you need to prime it. Shake the inhaler for 5 seconds, then release two test sprays into the air away from your face.
  • Shake and Check:
    • Shake the inhaler well for 5 seconds before each use.
    • Remove the mouthpiece cover and check the mouthpiece for any foreign objects.
  • Inhale the Medication:
    • Breathe out fully to empty your lungs.
    • Place the mouthpiece in your mouth and close your lips around it, keeping the inhaler upright.
    • Breathe in deeply and slowly through your mouth while pressing down firmly on the top of the inhaler to release a puff of medicine.
    • Continue to breathe in and then hold your breath for about 10 seconds, or as long as comfortable.
    • Remove the inhaler from your mouth and breathe out gently.
  • Repeat for the Second Dose:
    • If you need a second inhalation, shake the inhaler again for 5 seconds and repeat the inhalation steps.
  • After Use:
    • Replace the mouthpiece cover after using the inhaler.
    • Rinse your mouth with water and spit it out to help reduce the risk of oral infections.
  • Monitor Doses:
    • The counter on top of the inhaler shows the number of puffs left. When the counter approaches 20, it indicates it’s time to get a refill. Discard the inhaler when the counter reads zero or 3 months after opening the pouch, whichever comes first.
  • Cleaning:
    • Clean the white mouthpiece with a dry cloth at least once a week.
    • Do not put any part of the inhaler in water.

Side Effects of Symbicort Turbohaler

Common Side Effects

  • Throat irritation
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses)
  • Back pain
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Thrush in the mouth and throat (rinse mouth after use to prevent)
  • Headache
  • Throat pain
  • Flu
  • Nasal congestion
  • Vomiting (in people with asthma)
  • Bronchitis (in people with COPD)

Serious but Rare Side Effects

  • Chest pain
  • Fast and irregular heartbeat
  • Tremor
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Nervousness
  • Fungal infection in mouth or throat (thrush)
  • Pneumonia and other lung infections
  • Immune system effects leading to more infections
  • Adrenal insufficiency (not enough steroid hormones)
  • Increased wheezing after use
  • Serious allergic reactions (rash, hives, swelling, breathing problems)
  • Lower bone mineral density (osteoporosis)
  • Slowed growth in children
  • Eye problems (glaucoma and cataracts)
  • Swelling of blood vessels (pins and needles, numbness, rash, flu-like symptoms)
  • Decrease in blood potassium levels (hypokalemia)
  • Increase in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia)

Warnings and Precautions

  • Serious Asthma-Related Occurrences: Using LABA (Long-Acting Beta2-Agonists) alone without ICS (Inhaled Corticosteroids) for asthma raises the risk of asthma-related death, hospitalization, and intubation. LABA relaxes the airways to make breathing easier, while ICS reduces airway inflammation and helps prevent asthma symptoms. When LABA is combined with ICS, there is no significant increase in these risks compared to using ICS alone.
  • Excessive Use of Symbicort and Use with Other LABAs: Symbicort should not be used more frequently or at higher doses than prescribed. Using Symbicort with other medications containing LABA, like salmeterol or formoterol, can lead to serious cardiovascular effects and fatalities.
  • Local Effects: Some patients using Symbicort might get mouth and throat infections caused by Candida albicans, a fungus that naturally lives on the body. Too much candida can lead to infections. If this happens, antifungal treatment should be used while continuing Symbicort. Rinsing the mouth with water after each use can help prevent these infections.
  • Pneumonia and Lower Respiratory Tract Infections: Physicians should monitor patients with COPD for signs of pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract infections during treatment with Symbicort. Clinical studies have shown a higher incidence of these infections in COPD patients using Symbicort compared to placebo.
  • Immunosuppression: Patients using Symbicort who are on immunosuppressive therapy are more susceptible to infections. Conditions like chickenpox and measles can have severe or fatal outcomes in such individuals. Patients should avoid exposure to these infections and seek immediate medical attention if exposed. Specific immunoglobulin therapies may be necessary in certain cases.
  • Transitioning Patients From Systemic Corticosteroid Therapy: Patients transitioning from systemic corticosteroids to Symbicort require careful monitoring. Sudden withdrawal of systemic corticosteroids can lead to adrenal insufficiency, particularly during stress conditions like trauma or illness.
  • Hypercorticism and Adrenal Suppression: Long-term use of Symbicort can lead to systemic effects related to corticosteroid absorption. Patients should be monitored for symptoms of hypercorticism and adrenal suppression, especially when using higher-than-recommended doses over prolonged periods. Dose reduction should be gradual to minimize these risks.
  • Drug Interactions With Strong CYP3A4 Inhibitors: Be cautious when using Symbicort with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors like ketoconazole or ritonavir. These interactions can increase the levels of budesonide in your system, potentially causing side effects.
  • Paradoxical Bronchospasm and Upper Airway Symptoms: In rare cases, Symbicort can cause paradoxical bronchospasm, this happens when the muscles around the airways suddenly tighten after using an inhaler. If this happens, stop using Symbicort right away and consider other treatments.
  • Immediate Hypersensitivity Reactions: Some patients may experience immediate hypersensitivity reactions after using Symbicort, such as urticaria, angioedema, rash, or bronchospasm. These reactions require immediate medical attention and discontinuation of Symbicort.
  • Cardiovascular and Central Nervous System Effects: Symbicort contains beta-adrenergic agonists that may cause side effects like fast heart rate, irregular heartbeats, nervousness, headaches, tremors, and high blood pressure. Patients with heart conditions should use Symbicort carefully and report any significant symptoms to their healthcare providers.
  • Reduction in Bone Mineral Density: Long-term use of Symbicort may decrease bone mineral density, particularly in patients with multiple risk factors for osteoporosis. Regular monitoring and consideration of osteoporosis treatment are recommended, especially in high-risk patients.
  • Glaucoma and Cataracts: Long-term use of inhaled corticosteroids like budesonide in Symbicort may increase the risk of developing glaucoma and cataracts. Patients with a history of increased intraocular pressure or glaucoma should undergo regular eye examinations during Symbicort treatment.
  • Eosinophilic Conditions and Churg-Strauss Syndrome: In rare instances, patients using inhaled corticosteroids like budesonide might develop systemic eosinophilic conditions, similar to Churg-Strauss syndrome. This syndrome causes blood vessel inflammation.
  • Coexisting Conditions: Symbicort should be used carefully in patients with seizure disorders, overactive thyroid, or those highly sensitive to certain medications. Monitor patients with diabetes or ketoacidosis closely.
  • Hypokalemia and Hyperglycemia: The beta-adrenergic agonists in Symbicort can cause temporary low potassium and high blood sugar in some patients. It’s recommended to monitor potassium and blood sugar levels during treatment.

Overdosage

Overdosing on Symbicort, with budesonide and formoterol, is uncommon but can intensify effects common to beta2-agonists and corticosteroids. While immediate toxicity from budesonide overdose is unlikely, prolonged excessive use may result in systemic corticosteroid effects.

An overdose of Formoterol could lead to seizures, heart problems like angina or irregular heartbeats, and metabolic issues. If you overdose, discontinue Symbicort right away and address the symptoms promptly.

Cardioselective beta-blockers such as atenolol, betaxolol, bisoprolol, esmolol, acebutolol, metoprolol, and nebivolol can be cautiously used to handle heart-related symptoms.

These medications selectively block beta-1 receptors in the heart, helping to control heart-related symptoms from formoterol overdose, but should be used carefully to avoid worsening bronchospasm. Cardiac monitoring is recommended due to the risk of serious cardiovascular effects.

Drug Interactions With Other Medications

  • Inhibitors of Cytochrome P4503A4: Drugs like ketoconazole that inhibit CYP3A4 can raise budesonide levels in the body. CYP3A4, a key enzyme in the liver and intestines, helps break down and process drugs and toxins, making them easier to eliminate. Inhibiting this enzyme may increase budesonide exposure and the risk of corticosteroid side effects.
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors and Tricyclic Antidepressants: Patients using monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) should be cautious with Symbicort. MAOIs lower blood pressure when lying down and cause a greater drop when standing up. TCAs also increase the drop in blood pressure when standing. These medications can amplify formoterol’s effects on the cardiovascular system, potentially raising heart rate or blood pressure.
  • Beta-Adrenergic Receptor Blocking Agents: Beta-blockers can reduce the effectiveness of formoterol for asthma treatment by blocking its effects on the lungs. They might also cause severe bronchospasm in asthma patients. Cardioselective beta-blockers might be an option in some cases, but they should be used with caution.
  • Diuretics: Non-potassium-sparing diuretics (like loop or thiazide diuretics) can lead to electrolyte imbalances, like low potassium levels. When used with beta-agonists such as formoterol in Symbicort, the risk of ECG changes may increase. It’s important to be cautious when using these medications together.

Important Information or Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Provider Before Taking Symbicort

  1. Do I have any heart problems that could be affected by Symbicort?
  2. How will Symbicort interact with my high blood pressure?
  3. Could Symbicort affect my seizures?
  4. Should I be concerned about my thyroid condition while taking Symbicort?
  5. How might Symbicort impact my diabetes management?
  6. What should I know about using Symbicort with my liver issues?
  7. How does Symbicort affect osteoporosis, if at all?
  8. Will Symbicort interact with my immune system disorder?
  9. Could Symbicort worsen my eye conditions like glaucoma or cataracts?
  10. Am I allergic to any medications that are similar to Symbicort?
  11. Should I be worried about infections while using Symbicort?
  12. What precautions should I take if I’ve been exposed to chicken pox or measles?
  13. Is it safe for me to use Symbicort if I am pregnant or planning to become pregnant?
  14. Can I continue breastfeeding while using Symbicort? What are the risks?
  15. Should I adjust my current medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, or herbal supplements, while taking Symbicort?
  16. Are there specific medications, such as antifungal or anti-HIV drugs, that I should avoid while using Symbicort due to potential interactions?

Frequently Asked Questions

Symbicort inhaler is used to treat asthma in patients aged 6 years and older who are not well-controlled on other long-term asthma medications.

Symbicort Turbohaler starts to significantly improve lung function within approximately 5 minutes when used as directed twice daily (morning and evening).

To clean your Symbicort Turbohaler, follow these steps:

  • Clean the white mouthpiece every 7 days.
  • Start by gently squeezing and pulling off the gray mouthpiece cover.
  • Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe both the inside and outside of the white mouthpiece.
  • Once cleaned, put the cover back over the mouthpiece.

Remember, never submerge the inhaler in water, and do not attempt to dismantle it.

Continue using the Symbicort Turbohaler as directed by your doctor, even if you feel well. Regularly visit your doctor to ensure your asthma or COPD is properly managed and not worsening.

Symbicort contains budesonide and formoterol as active ingredients. While Symbicort is a brand-name medication, budesonide is one of its active drugs. Generic versions of Symbicort are also available, containing the same active ingredients, and are considered equally safe and effective.

Symbicort Turbohaler contains a steroid called budesonide, along with a long-acting bronchodilator called formoterol. It is used to prevent bronchospasm in individuals with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

No, Symbicort should not be taken as needed. It is typically used regularly as a maintenance medication to control asthma symptoms and should be taken as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

Each Symbicort Turbohaler comes in two different strengths: 80/4.5 mcg and 160/4.5 mcg. The 80/4.5 mcg Turbohaler contains 60 doses, while the 160/4.5 mcg Turbohaler contains 120 doses.

Symbicort and albuterol are not the same. Symbicort is a maintenance inhaler used daily to manage asthma or COPD symptoms, containing a steroid and a long-acting bronchodilator to prevent bronchospasm. Albuterol, on the other hand, is a fast-acting medication used as needed to relieve sudden symptoms like shortness of breath or wheezing during asthma attacks or COPD exacerbations.

Symbicort and Pulmicort are different medications. Both contain budesonide, a corticosteroid that reduces lung inflammation. However, Symbicort also includes formoterol fumarate, a bronchodilator that opens up airways. This means Symbicort not only manages inflammation but also provides immediate relief by opening the airways.