Your SYMBICORT Inhaler
Before using SYMBICORT, read the full instructions in the Medication Guide that comes with your prescription. You can also use this Quick Reference Guide (PDF) as a brief reminder. If you have any questions, talk with your health care professional.
Preparing your SYMBICORT 160/4.5 inhaler
Take your SYMBICORT inhaler out of the foil pouch and write the date on the box.
If you are using your inhaler for the first time, you need to prime it. To prime your inhaler
- Hold it in the upright position, as shown in Figure 1
- Shake your inhaler well for 5 seconds
- Remove the mouthpiece cover by squeezing gently at both sides, then pulling out
- Hold the inhaler facing away from you, and release a test spray
- Shake it again for 5 seconds and release a second test spray
If you do not use your SYMBICORT inhaler for more than 7 days or if you drop it, you will need to prime it again.
Using your SYMBICORT 160/4.5 inhaler
- Shake your inhaler well for 5 seconds. Remove the mouthpiece cover by squeezing gently at both sides, then pulling out. Check the mouthpiece for foreign objects.
- Breathe out fully (exhale). Hold the inhaler up to your mouth. Place the white mouthpiece fully into your mouth and close your lips around it. Make sure that the inhaler is upright and that the opening of the mouthpiece is pointing towards the back of your throat (see Figure 2).
- Breathe in (inhale) deeply and slowly through your mouth. Press down firmly and fully on the top of the counter on the inhaler to release the medicine (see Figure 1).
- Continue to breathe in (inhale) and then hold your breath for about 10 seconds, or for as long as it is comfortable. Before you breathe out (exhale), release your finger from the top of the counter. Keep your inhaler upright and remove from your mouth.
- Shake your inhaler again for 5 seconds and repeat steps 2 to 4.
Actuation counter: The actuation counter on top of the inhaler will monitor the amount of medication remaining and help you know when to refill your prescription.
After using your SYMBICORT 160/4.5 inhaler
Put the cover back on the mouthpiece after use. Rinse your mouth with water and spit it out. Do not swallow the water.
Reading the actuation counter
The counter for your SYMBICORT inhaler is found at the top of the metal canister. The arrow points to the number of inhalations, or puffs, remaining. After you have primed the inhaler for the first time, the counter will read either 120 or 60, depending on which size was provided to you.
Each time you release a puff from the inhaler, the counter will count down.
When the arrow approaches 20, you will notice the beginning of the yellow zone, indicating that it is time to call for a refill. Discard the inhaler when the arrow points to the red zone and reads zero (0), or 3 months after it is taken out of its pouch, whichever comes first. Your inhaler may not feel empty and may continue to operate, but you will not get the right amount of medicine if you keep using it.
Make every dose count every day
Get the most from your medication by taking it exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
- Keep your inhaler in a place that will remind you to use it
- Keep track of the number of doses of SYMBICORT remaining in your inhaler so you’ll know when to refill your prescription
Use SYMBICORT twice a day, morning and evening.
While taking SYMBICORT, never use another medicine that contains a LABA.
SYMBICORT is not, and will NOT replace, a rescue inhaler for symptoms that suddenly become worse. Contact your doctor if these symptoms do not improve or if they become more severe.
If you have any questions about using your inhaler, contact your health care professional or call 1-800-236-9933.
How to clean your SYMBICORT inhaler
You should clean the white mouthpiece of the SYMBICORT inhaler every 7 days. To clean the mouthpiece, remove the grey mouthpiece cover by squeezing gently at both sides, then pulling out. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the inside and outside of the white mouthpiece.
When you are finished cleaning the mouthpiece, place the cover back over the mouthpiece.
Never put your SYMBICORT inhaler into water. Do not try to take the inhaler apart.
When to discard your SYMBICORT inhaler
Throw away SYMBICORT when the counter reaches zero (0) or 3 months after you take SYMBICORT out of its foil pouch, whichever comes first. Your SYMBICORT inhaler may not feel empty and it may continue to operate, but you will not get the right amount of medicine if you keep using it.
Never immerse the canister into water to try and determine the amount of medicine remaining (“float test”).
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Next: Using SYMBICORT as Prescribed