Symbicort inhaler/turbuhaler is a medication used to treat people who suffer from severe asthma or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
The medication is often prescribed by doctors if your asthma or COPD is not responding to your current short-acting bronchodilators (reliever inhalers). It has the same functions as any ordinary inhaler.
The difference with a turbuhaler is that it comes in a dry powdered form, which you inhale the same way you would with any other metered dose inhaler. Also, it does not require a co-ordination of pressing the top of the canister and inhaling at the same time. With the symbicort you simply breathe out, then take a deep breath in, hold for 10 seconds or as long as you can, which will allow the medication to get into your lungs.
Symbicort inhaler can also be used both, as a preventer and a reliever inhaler. If you are using this type of inhaler as recommended by your doctor, you should not really feel the need to use your rescue/reliever inhaler ( usually blue) too often.
If you are still using your reliever inhaler very often, then you should see your doctor urgently as your asthma is not responding to the symbicort treatment.
After every use of your inhalers, it is good practice to rinse your mouth with water immediately to prevent oral thrush, which is a fungal infection in the mouth that can be caused by inhaling corticosteroids.
What does symbicort contain?
So what exactly is inside of this medication? Well, there are two active ingredients. One is budesonide and the other one - formoterol fumarate. They both belong to a class of medication called steroids, also known as corticosteroids. This is not the steroids used by some body builders; I questioned my doctor when he first told me that he will give me some steroids for my asthma! : )
Corticosteroids are used as an anti-inflammatory to help reduce inflammation especially for asthmatic and COPD patients. Also, corticosteroids are used to help replace hormones that would be naturally produced by the adrenal glans. These hormones are important to us, because they decrease inflammation in the lungs, which helps keep asthma symptoms and other respiratory disease under control. This type of steroid comes in tablets form as well as the dry powdered one, which is known as oral corticosteroids tablets.
Can I use it with my other inhalers?
This medication can be taken with your other inhalers, but you should consult your doctor first before doing so. Reliever inhalers can be taken with symbicort as they are for emergency purposes. If you are in doubt on what inhalers can be used with this medication, you can speak to you doctor or ask a pharmacists.
At what age am I allowed to use a symbicort inhaler?
This medication is suitable for children as low as 6 years of age, which is the Symbicort 100/6 turbohaler. Symbicort 200/6 and 400/12 turbohalers are recommended to children 12 years of age + .
Where can I purchase one?
It is important to get this medication prescribed to you first before any use, because it can be very harmful to your body. Thus, remember that you should consult with your doctor before purchasing one. You can purchase this medication in your local pharmacy or on the internet (You may need to fill out a questionnaire to confirm that you have used this treatment before you can purchase online).
How do I use it?
Here is a brief video, which demonstrates how to use the medication.
Please, make sure when you breathe in the medication, that you breathe back out through your nostrils to get the best effect from your dose.
What are the side effects?
The most common side effects are:
Hoarse voice; Awareness of your heartbeat; Cough and hoarseness; Shaking, usually of the hands (tremor); Nervousness; Headache; Yeast infection of the mouth or throat (oral thrush); Throat irritation.