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What Is Symbicort Turbuhaler (Symbicort Inhaler)?

Symbicort Turbuhaler is a combination medication that contains two active ingredients, Budesonide and Formoterol. It is designed to manage and prevent symptoms associated with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It comes in the form of a dry powder inhaler known as a Turbuhaler, making it easy to administer.

How Does It Work?

The Symbicort inhaler operates through the collaboration of its two key components. Budesonide, a corticosteroid, alleviates airway inflammation, thwarting swelling and constriction to manage and prevent symptoms of asthma and COPD. 

Simultaneously, Formoterol, a long-acting bronchodilator, relaxes airway muscles, promoting dilation and enhancing airflow. This dual action helps individuals breathe more easily, offering comprehensive relief from respiratory conditions by addressing inflammation and facilitating improved lung function.

Symbicort Dosing & Forms

The Symbicort Turbuhaler comes in four different strengths:

  1. Symbicort Turbuhaler 80/4.5 mcg
  2. Symbicort Turbuhaler 160/4.5 mcg 
  3. Symbicort Turbuhaler 100/6 mcg
  4. Symbicort Turbuhaler 200/6 mcg

Here’s how to take the dosage:

The typical Symbicort dosing is one inhalation twice daily for asthma and two inhalation twice daily for COPD. Your healthcare provider may adjust the Symbicort dosing based on your specific needs. It’s crucial to use the medication regularly, even if you are not experiencing symptoms, to maintain effective asthma or COPD management. 

How to Store Symbicort Inhaler?

Store your Symbicort inhaler at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and direct sunlight. Keep the inhaler in a dry place, and make sure to close the cap securely after each use. Avoid storing it in the bathroom. Regularly check the dose counter to monitor the remaining doses. Always follow the specific storage instructions provided in the medication packaging, and consult your healthcare provider.

Important Warnings and Precautions

  • Symbicort inhaler has not been approved for the relief of acute bronchospasm, and it may increase the risk of asthma-related death. It should not be initiated in patients experiencing worsening or acutely deteriorating asthma.
  • It can lead to an increase in exacerbations in COPD patients. Regular monitoring is essential, and treatment adjustments may be necessary.
  • It can cause paradoxical bronchospasm, marked by immediate breathing difficulties. Discontinue treatment if this occurs and consider alternative therapy.
  • After inhalation, rinse your mouth with water to prevent candida infection.
  • During periods of stress or severe exacerbations, consider additional systemic corticosteroid therapy.

Symbicort Side Effects

Symbicort Turbuhaler may cause side effects, and it’s important to be aware of them. Common Symbicort side effects include:

  • Sore throat or irritation.
  • Fungal infection in the mouth.
  • Mild to moderate headaches.
  • Shaking or trembling of hands or other parts of the body.
  • Palpitations or a faster heart rate.

These side effects are often mild and may decrease with continued use. Serious Symbicort side effects are rare but can include chest pain, a fast or irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and allergic reactions. 

What Drugs Interact with Symbicort?

Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol) interacts with 782 drugs, 11 diseases, and 2 alcohol/foods. There are 77 major drug interactions, 681 moderate interactions, and 24 minor drug interactions in total.

Some drugs that interact with Symbicort include:

  • Beta-blockers such as metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL).
  • Antidepressants such as fluoxetine (Prozac).
  • HIV medications such as ritonavir (Norvir).
  • Glaucoma treatments such as Timolol (Timoptic).
  • Clarithromycin (Biaxin).

[Important Note: It should be noted that this is not a comprehensive list of possible drug interactions with Symbicort. Please consult your doctor before taking Symbicort if you take any medications].

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a Symbicort inhaler last?

The duration an inhaler lasts depends on how often it’s used. Each Turbuhaler contains a specific number of doses. For example, if prescribed for twice-daily use, a Turbuhaler with 120 doses would last for 60 days. Always check the dose counter on the device to monitor the remaining doses, and consult your healthcare provider for guidance on when to get a new one.

Is this Turbuhaler safe for children?

Symbicort Turbuhaler can be used in children based on a healthcare provider’s recommendation. The appropriate dosage depends on the child’s age and condition. It’s crucial to follow the prescribed instructions and consult with a healthcare professional for accurate dosing. Regular check-ups ensure proper management and adjustments, if necessary, for the child’s respiratory health.

Can I use this inhaler if I have heart problems?

Before using Symbicort inhaler for heart problems, consult your healthcare provider. They will assess your condition and determine if it’s safe. Formoterol, one of its components, may affect the heart rate. Close monitoring is essential. Report any changes or concerns promptly. Never adjust medication without professional guidance, and prioritize regular check-ups for optimal heart and respiratory health.

Can Symbicort Turbuhaler be used for allergies?

Symbicort Turbuhaler is not specifically designed to treat allergies. It’s primarily used for managing asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If you have allergies, consult your healthcare provider for appropriate treatments. They can recommend medications targeted for allergy relief and ensure a comprehensive approach to managing both respiratory conditions and allergies.

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