Symbicort is prescribed for the asthma treatment in patients 6 years and over as a long-acting asthma treatment. It is prescribed for the supportive care of airflow obstruction in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), inclusively of chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema, and to reduce exacerbations of COPD. It is not prescribed for the acute bronchospasm relief.
- Long-acting drug
- Supportive care
- Prescribed for daily use
What is Symbicort?
Symbicort contains budesonide and formoterol. These two substances have different mechanisms of action and exhibit an additive effect in reducing the frequency of bronchial asthma exacerbations. The special properties of budesonide and formoterol contribute to relieve attacks / symptoms with anti-inflammatory action, or as a supportive therapy for bronchial asthma.
Budesonide belongs to GCS group. After inhalation, it provides a rapid (within several hours) and dose-dependent anti-inflammatory effect on the respiratory tract, reducing the severity of symptoms and the frequency of bronchial asthma exacerbations. When prescribing budesonide in the form of inhalation, there is a lower incidence of severe side effects than when using systemic GCS. It reduces the severity of edema of the bronchial mucosa, mucus production, sputum formation and airway hyperreactivity. The exact mechanism of the anti-inflammatory GCS action is unknown.
Formoterol is a selective β2-adrenergic receptor agonist. After inhalation, it causes rapid and long-term relaxation of bronchial smooth muscles in patients with reversible airway obstruction. The bronchodilator effect is dose-dependent, occurs within 1-3 minutes after inhalation and persists for at least 12 hours after taking a single dose.
How to use this inhaler?
When inhaled by the patient through the mouthpiece, the drug enters the respiratory tract. It is necessary to instruct the patient to follow the steps described below:
- carefully study the instructions for use;
- inhale strongly and deeply through the mouthpiece to ensure that the optimal drug dose reaches the lungs;
- never exhale through the mouthpiece;
- rinse your mouth with water after inhalation of maintenance doses to reduce the risk of developing candidiasis of the oral mucosa and pharynx. It is also necessary to rinse your mouth with water after inhalation to relieve symptoms in case of oral mucosa and pharynx candidiasis.
The patient may not feel the taste or feel the drug after using Symbicort, which is due to the small amount of the delivered substance.
Do not try to remove the mouthpiece as it is attached to the inhaler and cannot be removed. The mouthpiece of this inhaler rotates, but do not turn it unnecessarily.
Since the amount of powder inhaled is very small, you may not taste the powder after inhalation.
However, if you followed the instructions, you can be sure that you have inhaled the required drug dose.
If you repeated the procedure for loading the inhaler more than once by mistake before taking the drug, you will still receive one dose of the drug during inhalation. While the dose indicator will show the total number of doses measured.
The sound you hear when shaking the inhaler is produced by the drying agent, not the medicine.
What does Symbicort do to lungs?
Its main function is to reduce the irritation and swelling of the airways. It helps relieve bronchospasm and reduce infammation. This inhaler will be effective only in case it is used in the correct dosage prescribed by your doctor.
How often can you take Symbicort?
Symbicort should be taken daily in the form of 2 puffs in the morning and 2 puffs in the evening. If a patient misses a dose, he/she should take the next dose at the same time you usually apply. Do not take this inhaler more often or use more puffs than you have been prescribed.
The dosage will be defined by a healthcare specialist depending on the individual case. Self-treatment will bring more harm than good to the patient’s health.
How to use Symbicort with spacer?
If you or your child uses a mask, attach the mask to the mouthpiece of the spacer. Use a spacer through the mouthpiece whenever possible. The use of the mask leads to partial drug sedimentation in the nasopharynx, which is undesirable. Use the mask only if it is impossible to use the spacer through the mouthpiece.
Shake the inhaler can several times. Insert it into the spacer. In some models of spacers, the can does not fit tight in the spacer, this is not a problem, only less convenient for use. Spacers with a universal cap are more convenient to use and fit all types of inhalers.
Close your lips around the mouthpiece of the spacer. If you are using a wash, press the mask firmly to your face. Make sure that the mask fits tghtly, without gaps, to the face. Choose a mask of the appropriate size. Remember: a beard significantly impairs the tightness of the mask, which negatively affects the quality of inhalation.
Inject one drug into the spacer. If the doctor has prescribed more than one drug dose at a time, the procedure should be repeated after the first inhalation. Do not inject more than one drug into the spacer at a time!
Take 2-3 calm deep breaths of the drug. Do not inhale too fast, this will impair the quality of the inhalation. Some spacers are equipped with an audible warning for too fast inhalation. This allows you to develop a more correct breathing during inhalation.
In no case should you exhale into the spacer. This can lead to the drug deposition on the walls of the device, as a result, a significantly lower dose will enter the respiratory system. Choose a spacer with an exhalation valve. This will exclude the likelihood of even accidental exhalation into the spacer of both an adult and a child.
If a child inhales, try to make sure that he takes 2-3 breaths in one injection of the drug. For young children, spacers with an inhalation indicator are preferable, which will allow you to visually monitor the inhalation process.
How long does Symbicort take to work?
The effectiveness of this inhaler is dependant on regularity of the usage. An improvement in asthma attack may be observed within 15 minutes. However, it may take up to 2 weeks before the full benefits are found. The effectiveness terms and degree can vary depending the health condition of an individual.
How to quit this drug?
It is recommended to gradually reduce the maintenance dose of the drug before discontinuing treatment, and it is not recommended to abruptly discontinue treatment. Inhaled GCS should not be completely canceled, except in cases when temporary withdrawal is necessary to confirm the diagnosis of bronchial asthma.
What other inhalers are similar to Symbicort?
There are the following inhalers to this medication:
- Advair Diskus (fluticasone / salmeterol);
- Singulair (montelukast);
What is the strongest Symbicort?
This inhaler is considered to be the second potent inhaler applied for the treatment of asthma and COPD in adults and children over 6 years old.
Will it make you gain weight?
Excessive weight is a less common inhaler side effect. But it cannot be guarateed that you won’t gain extra weight when administering Symbicort. Better to visit a doctor to clarify this issue.
Use it daily and will continue use it. This bronchodilator provides the effect that will relieve your asthma attack. But only doctor may prescribe whether Symbicort will be effective or not.
This is my long-acting bronchodilator that I use in combination with a fast-acting one. I am completely satisfied with the effect produced. Will continue it further.