Budesonide and formoterol is used to treat the symptoms of asthma and COPD and to prevent them from recurring. Find out how to use it safely and possible side effects. Budesonide and formoterol is also called Symbicort, Vannair and
|Type of medicine
- This is a combination medicine. It contains a corticosteroid (budesonide) plus a bronchodilator (formoterol).
- Symbicort® Turbuhaler
- Vannair® Inhaler
- DuoResp Spiromax®
What is budesonide + formoterol?
Budesonide and formoterol are 2 medicines mixed together in a single inhaler device such as a turbuhaler or a metered dose inhaler (MDI or puffer). The combination is used to treat the symptoms of asthma and COPD and to prevent them from recurring.
- Budesonide is a corticosteroid and when inhaled works by preventing swelling and irritation in the walls of the small air passages in your lungs. It is also called a preventer because when used every day it prevents asthma attacks.
- Formoterol is a long-acting, fast onset bronchodilator and works by relaxing and opening up your air passages, making breathing easier.
Different brands, inhaler devices and strengths
In New Zealand, budesonide + formoterol inhalers are available in different brands, inhaler devices and strengths.
- Symbicort: A dry powder inhaler that is in a turbuhaler device.
- DuoResp Spiromax: A dry powder inhaler that looks like a metered dose inhaler.
- Vannair: A metered dose inhaler (MDI or puffer).
Using an inhaler device enables the medicine to go straight into your airways when you breathe in. This means that your airways and lungs are treated, but very little of the medicine gets into the rest of your body.
Read more about the different inhaler devices and deciding on the right inhaler for you.
For more detailed information on the different brands of budesonide + formoterol, click on the following links:
- Budesonide + formoterol NZ Formulary
Information for clinicians
This section will be of most interest to clinicians (eg, nurses, doctors, pharmacists and specialists).
- Inhaled corticosteroids should be used with caution in patients with systemic infection.
- High doses of inhaled corticosteroid have been associated with lower respiratory tract infections, including pneumonia, in older patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- High doses of inhaled corticosteroids may lead to systemic adverse effects.
- Inhaled corticosteroids have been associated with adverse psychiatric and behavioural reactions.
- Central serous chorioretinopathy – refer patients presenting with visual disturbances to ophthalmologist or optometrist.
- Paradoxical bronchospasm with inhaled corticosteroids. The potential for paradoxical bronchospasm (calling for discontinuation and alternative therapy) should be borne in mind – mild bronchospasm may be prevented by inhalation of a short-acting beta2 agonist beforehand.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Susceptibility to QT-interval prolongation
- Diabetes – monitor blood glucose
- Hypokalaemia – potentially serious hypokalaemia may result from beta2 agonist therapy; particular caution is required in severe asthma, because this effect may be potentiated by concomitant treatment with theophylline and its derivatives, corticosteroids, and diuretics, and by hypoxia; plasma-potassium concentration should therefore be monitored in severe asthma.
Inhaler may contain lactose – the milk-protein contaminant of lactose may cause an anaphylactic reaction in rare cases (contact manufacturer for excipient information and avoid lactose-containing products if patient has proven milk-protein allergy).
Read more Budesonide + formoterol NZ Formulary