How to Use Your SYMBICORT Inhaler

Take SYMBICORT exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

It’s important that you don’t miss a dose or take more doses than prescribed. SYMBICORT will not replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms.

To use SYMBICORT effectively:

2 PUFFS OF SYMBICORT TWICE A DAY, EVERY DAY

MORNING

EVENING

 

Take 2 puffs of SYMBICORT in the morning and 2 puffs in the evening, every day

  • Do not take more than 4 puffs per day
  • Do not use more than twice a day
  • Your inhaler should last you 30 days if you are taking 2 puffs twice a day
  • Use the actuation counter to monitor your doses
 
 
 

Have any questions?

Talk to one of our nurses—they are ready to help.

Call 1-877-807-4466, Monday–Friday, 8 AM–6 PM ET

 

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Watch this video to learn how to use your SYMBICORT inhaler

Before starting SYMBICORT, read the full instructions in the Medication Guide that comes with your prescription. You can also use the directions in this Quick Reference Guide. If you have any questions about the directions, ask your health care provider.

 

 

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Preparing Your SYMBICORT 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.

inhaler-prepare

Preparing Your SYMBICORT 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
  • 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 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.

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.

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 it 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 Inhaler

Put the cover back on the mouthpiece after use. Rinse your mouth with water and spit it out. Don’t 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 gets close to 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.

You can do this by:

  • Keeping your inhaler in a place that will remind you to use it
  • Keeping track of the number of doses of SYMBICORT remaining in your inhaler so you’ll know when to refill your prescription

Remember:

  • Use SYMBICORT twice a day, morning and evening
  • While taking SYMBICORT, never use another medicine that contains a LABA (long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist)
  • 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,

talk to your doctor or

call the Nurse Hotline: 1-877-807-4466,

Monday–Friday, 8 AM–6 PM ET

How to Clean Your SYMBICORT Inhaler

You should clean the white mouthpiece of the SYMBICORT inhaler every 7 days. Remove the gray 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 reads 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”).

 

Important Safety Information

  • SYMBICORT combines an ICS, budesonide and a LABA medicine, formoterol. LABA medicines, such as formoterol, when used alone can increase the risk of hospitalizations and death from asthma problems. When an ICS and LABA are used together, this risk is not significantly increased
  • Do not use SYMBICORT for sudden severe symptoms of COPD or asthma
  • Before you use SYMBICORT, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you have heart conditions or high blood pressure, and all the medicines you may be taking. Some patients taking SYMBICORT may experience increased blood pressure, heart rate, or change in heart rhythm
  • Do not use SYMBICORT more often than prescribed. SYMBICORT should be taken as 2 puffs 2 times each day
  • While taking SYMBICORT, do not use another medicine containing a LABA for any reason. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if any of your other medicines are LABA medicines
  • Call your healthcare provider or get medical care right away if:
    • Your breathing problems worsen
    • You need to use your rescue inhaler more often than usual or your rescue inhaler doesn’t work as well at relieving symptoms
  • SYMBICORT may cause serious side effects, including:
    • Using too much of a LABA medicine may cause chest pain, fast and irregular heartbeat, tremor, increased blood pressure, headache or nervousness
    • Fungal infection in your mouth or throat (thrush). Rinse your mouth with water without swallowing after using SYMBICORT to help reduce your chance of getting thrush
    • Pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract infections. People with COPD may have a higher chance of pneumonia and other lung infections. ICS may increase the chance of getting pneumonia. Call your healthcare provider if you notice any of the following symptoms: increase in mucus production or change in color, fever, increased cough, chills, or increased breathing problems
    • Immune system effects and a higher chance for infections. Tell your healthcare provider about any signs of infection such as: fever, body aches, feeling tired, vomiting, pain, chills, or nausea
    • Adrenal insufficiency. This can happen when you stop taking oral corticosteroid medicines and start inhaled corticosteroid medicine
    • Increased wheezing right after taking SYMBICORT. Always have a rescue inhaler with you to treat sudden wheezing
    • Serious allergic reactions including rash, hives, swelling of the face, mouth, and tongue, and breathing problems. Call your healthcare provider or get emergency medical care if you get any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction
    • Lower bone mineral density can happen in people who have a high chance for low bone mineral density (osteoporosis)
    • Slowed growth in children. A child’s growth should be checked regularly while using SYMBICORT
    • Eye problems including glaucoma and cataracts. You should have regular eye exams while using SYMBICORT
    • Swelling of blood vessels. This can happen in people with asthma. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have: a feeling of pins and needles or numbness of arms or legs, rash, flu like symptoms, or pain and swelling of the sinuses
    • Decreases in blood potassium levels (hypokalemia)
    • Increases in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia)
  • The most common side effects of SYMBICORT include:
    • COPD: throat irritation, thrush in the mouth and throat, bronchitis, sinusitis, and upper respiratory tract infection
    • Asthma: throat irritation, headache, upper respiratory tract infection, throat pain, sinusitis, flu, back pain, nasal congestion, stomach discomfort, vomiting, and thrush in the mouth and throat

Approved Uses

COPD: SYMBICORT 160/4.5 mcg is used long-term to improve symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, for better breathing and fewer flare-ups.

Asthma: SYMBICORT is for the treatment of asthma in patients 6 years and older whose asthma is not well-controlled with an asthma-control medicine such as an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) or whose asthma warrants treatment with both an ICS and a long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA).

SYMBICORT is not used to relieve sudden breathing problems and will not replace a rescue inhaler.

Please see full Prescribing Information and Patient Information, and discuss with your doctor.

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