What is Symbicort?
Symbicort is an inhalable combination drug of budesonide and formoterol used to manage asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Budesonide is a steroid that reduces and prevents respiratory inflammation in your lungs. Formoterol is a bronchodilator that relaxes muscles in your lungs and airways to improve breathing. So rather than having your airways get blocked, your muscles get relaxed and your airways can flow regularly. Now, don’t use Symbicort if you are having an asthma attack, there are other medications for that.
Both budesonide and formoterol are designed to be delivered into the body as a powder form and to be absorbed in your throat and lungs. Your body never absorbs 100% of any drug inhaled. A percentage of the inhaled drug gets “clogged” in your lungs and builds up over some time. Not to worry, your lungs eventually loosen this build up by coughing and expelling through your mouth or nose.
Symbicort Side Effects
Symbicort is an inhaled drug which means you breathe it in for it to work. It goes right to the source (lungs) without a big delay. There are some common drug side effects such as: throat irritation, coughing, hoarseness, headaches, mouth sores (aphthae), insomnia and increased heartbeat. The less common side effects include: rash, itchiness, respiratory spasms, dizziness, nausea and chest pain. Considering what asthma can do to a person, the side effects are manageable. The most serious side effects include fainting, irregular heartbeat (fast or slow) and seizures. These side effects were found in a very small amount of patients.
There is a catch to Symbicort. It is not used to manage asthma on a day by day basis. It is meant to be used short term (couple weeks to a couple of months) until your asthma is under control. Once your asthma is under control, you leave Symbicort for your asthma maintenance drug. Other drugs that manage asthma include Advair, Atrovent, Proventil, Ventonil, Xopenex and Maxair.
Symbicort is approved for anyone 12 years or older. It is not recommended for children under 12 since there is a greater chance of hospitalization from the side effects. There are also reports of mood changes from using Symbicort. Have you experienced any of these side effects?