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What is budesonide-formoterol?


Budesonide-formoterol inhalation aerosol is the generic of the brand name medication Symbicort, which is manufactured by AstraZeneca. It is used for the treatment of asthma and maintenance treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis. However, it is not approved for the treatment of acute bronchospasm during asthma attacks.

For the treatment of asthma, budesonide-formoterol should only be used for adults and adolescents over six years of age whose asthma could not be treated with an asthma-control medication alone, such as an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), or an ICS with a long-acting beta 2 - adrenergic agonist (LABA) medication.

How does budesonide-formoterol work?

This combination medication contains budesonide and formoterol fumarate dihydrate. The inhaled steroid budesonide is part of the family of medicines known as corticosteroids which prevents inflammation in the lungs responsible for an asthma attack. Formoterol is part of the family of medicines called long-acting bronchodilators. Formoterol helps improve lung function by opening the airways and reducing the exacerbations of COPD.

What doses of budesonide-formoterol are available?

The strength and dose of budesonide-formoterol that you take will depend on several factors, including the condition you are treating and your age. Your doctor will prescribe what is best for you. Budesonide-formoterol usually comes as a metered-dose inhaler that contains either 80 mcg or 160 mcg of budesonide and 4.5 mcg of formoterol.

How do you use budesonide-formoterol?

Budesonide-formoterol should only be used as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Make sure to read the medication guide and all prescribing information before using this medication. Budesonide-formoterol is only indicated to use as an oral inhalation. All children taking budesonide-formoterol should have an adult’s help, especially when beginning the medication.

The usual dose of budesonide-formoterol is two puffs in the morning and evening, 12 hours apart. If you miss a dose, take the next dose at your normal time.

To lower the chance of a fungal infection (thrush) in the mouth or throat, rinse your mouth with water after each dose. Avoid your eyes. If budesonide-formoterol gets into your eyes and rinsing them out does not relieve redness or irritation, call your doctor or go to your nearest emergency room.

Do not puncture the canister or throw it into an incinerator or fire.

When the counter reaches zero or it has been three months since budesonide-formoterol has been out of its foil pouch, throw the medicine away.

Do not change medications or take another medication that contains long-acting beta-2 agonists (LABA). Too much LABA medication in your body could cause serious side effects. If an asthma attack occurs, do not use budesonide-formoterol. Instead, use a rescue inhaler as prescribed, such as albuterol. Call your healthcare provider if you do not have a rescue inhaler. It is also recommended to call your healthcare provider if symptoms do not disappear or worsen after a week.

What are the side effects of budesonide-formoterol?

The most common side effects of budesonide-formoterol in clinical trials may depend on the condition for which you are being treated.

If taken for asthma, symptoms include:

  • Headache

  • Stomach discomfort

  • Nasopharyngitis (common cold symptoms)

  • Upper respiratory tract infection

  • Sinusitis

  • Influenza

  • Nasal congestion

  • Vomiting

  • Sore throat

  • Oral candidiasis (thrush)

If taken for COPD, symptoms include:

  • Nasopharyngitis (common cold symptoms)

  • Upper respiratory tract infection

  • Sinusitis

  • Oral candidiasis (thrush)

  • Bronchitis

Rarely, budesonide-formoterol may cause some serious side effects, including:

  • The effects of too much LABA medication including:

    • Chest pain

    • Tremor

    • Increased blood pressure

    • Headache

    • Fast and irregular heartbeat, and more.

  • Increased risk of pneumonia, lower respiratory tract infections, or other serious infections.

  • Increased wheezing or shortness of breath immediately after taking budesonide-formoterol.

  • Lower bone mineral density.

  • Slower growth in children.

  • Eye problems such as glaucoma and cataracts.

  • Serious allergic reactions, with symptoms that could include:

    • Hives

    • Rash

    • Swelling of the face, mouth, and tongue

    • Breathing problems

  • Adrenal insufficiency.

  • Hypokalemia, or decreases in blood potassium levels.

  • Hyperglycemia, or increases in blood sugar levels.

Contact your healthcare professional for medical advice about any possible adverse effects you experience while taking budesonide-formoterol. You can report your adverse effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or

Budesonide-formoterol drug interactions

When budesonide-formoterol is taken with other prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements, it may change how they work or increase the frequency or severity of side effects. Some drug interactions with budesonide-formoterol include:

  •  Strong cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors such as ketoconazole.

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants.

  • Beta-blockers.

  • Diuretics.

Budesonide-formoterol precautions

You should be sure that your healthcare provider is aware of all your medical conditions, including if you have:

  • High blood pressure

  • Cardiovascular issues

  • Seizures

  • Diabetes

  • Thyroid problems

  • Liver problems

  • Osteoporosis

  • Immune system problems

  • Eye problems, including:

    • Pressure in the eye

    • Cataracts

    • Glaucoma

  • Known hypersensitivity to budesonide, formoterol, or any inactive ingredient in this product.

  • Had exposure to measles or chickenpox.

  • Had a baby recently, are breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant.

    • It is unsure whether budesonide-formoterol may harm your unborn or breastfeeding baby. Talk to your doctor about options for you.

Is there a generic available for budesonide-formoterol?

Budesonide-formoterol is a generic in the United States for the brand name medicine Symbicort.

How do you store budesonide-formoterol?

Store budesonide-formoterol with the mouthpiece down at room temperature between 68°F - 77°F (20°C - 25°), and keep it away from children. If the contents get too hot, the canister may explode.

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Medication guide:

Prescribing information:



Mayo Clinic:

DailyMed: file:///Users/apple/Downloads/MediMart%20/20211007_1d266fe8-52e3-4f85-a037-c5c1afa15e60.pdf