Speaking up about your symptoms.

Maintaining an open conversation with your doctor about your COPD is important in managing your condition.

This Doctor Discussion Guide can help you remember, record, and report what you need to talk about with your doctor. Take a few minutes to answer the 3 questions below.

Based on your answers, you’ll get a guide with personalized tips, a handy list of useful medical terms, plus questions you may want to ask your doctor.

 

Download, print, or e-mail

your guide to take with you to your next appointment.

 

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YOUR DOCTOR DISCUSSION GUIDE

Now you’re ready to have a conversation with your doctor!

Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor, a personalized report with tips to help you manage your breathing, plus a handy list of some medical terms.

YOUR SYMPTOM PROFILE

Daily routine activities impacted by breathing:
Leisure activities impacted by breathing:
Symptoms:

Some questions for your doctor

  • What should I do if my symptoms worsen?
  • Can I exercise even if I find it hard to breathe?
  • Should I get a flu shot?
  • What else can I do to help improve my physical fitness and lung health?
 

Tips to Help You Manage Your Breathing

Tips for Your Daily Routine Activities

Bathing

Have a seat while showering. Try using a bath stool instead of standing, and use a robe instead of a towel—it takes less effort to dry off.

Dressing/Undressing

Get comfortable to get dressed. Sit down while you get dressed or undressed. And use a long-handled reacher to put on shoes and socks to avoid straining.

Preparing meals

Spend less time over a hot stove. Look for quick recipes that require minimal preparation time, such as frozen dinners and ready mixes.

Groceries

Get social while shopping. Bring along a shopping buddy to help you grab items that are too heavy or out of reach, and load/unload groceries.

Laundry

Lighten your laundry load. Use a rolling cart to carry your clothes. Then sit down to fold them.

None

You said that none of the daily routine activities listed here, like personal care and chores, have been affected by your breathing. That’s great news! Here’s a tip you can use if it does start getting in the way.

Put things within easy reach. When tidying up, think about arranging your house so that the things you use most often are at waist level and easy to reach.

Tips for Your Leisure and Social Activities

Family gatherings

Beat the crowd. Large gatherings can be tiring. So show up early before everyone gets there, grab a comfy seat, then leave early before you feel worn out.

Visiting friends

Grab a virtual coffee together. Don’t cancel if you don’t feel up to going out. Use FaceTime, Skype, or Google Hangouts to stay in touch with friends.

Travel

Get some wheels—on your luggage. So you can roll it along without having to lift its weight.

Dining out

Try takeout or order in. You can still have a nice meal without cooking, and still get to hang out with friends or family.

Hobbies

Save your energy before going out. Move slowly and pace yourself as you go about your day, sit during tasks as much as possible, and take rest breaks.

None

You said that none of the leisure activities listed here, like seeing friends and family, travel, or hobbies, have been affected by your breathing. That’s great news! Here’s a tip you can use if it does start getting in the way.

Don’t overcommit yourself. Make sure to break up your plans throughout the week so you don’t tire yourself out. That means not setting a movie date the same day you have choir practice and a doctor’s appointment.

Tips for Your Symptoms

Cough

Worsened

Avoid bad “air” days. Air pollution can irritate the lungs and make symptoms like cough worse. So try to avoid outdoor irritants like pollen and smog, and indoor ones like paint and cleaning products.

Cough

Improved

Avoid cold and flu germs. Infections can make symptoms worse, so stay away from sick people, and wash your hands to prevent the spread of infection.

Cough

Stayed the same

Avoid cold and flu germs. Infections can make symptoms worse, so stay away from sick people, and wash your hands to prevent the spread of infection.

Shortness of breath

Worsened

Aim for regular exercise. You don’t need to run a marathon to reap the benefits of exercise. Moderate exercise, like walking, can help improve shortness of breath. Make sure you talk to your doctor about what type of exercise is right for you.

Shortness of breath

Improved

Avoid cold and flu germs. Infections can make symptoms worse, so stay away from sick people, and wash your hands to prevent the spread of infection.

Shortness of breath

Stayed the same

Avoid cold and flu germs. Infections can make symptoms worse, so stay away from sick people, and wash your hands to prevent the spread of infection.

Mucus

Worsened

Stay hydrated. Drinking enough fluids can help to thin the mucus in your lungs and clear it too. Try aiming for 8 to 12 cups (64 to 86 ounces) per day of caffeine-free beverages.

Mucus

Improved

Avoid cold and flu germs. Infections can make symptoms worse, so stay away from sick people, and wash your hands to prevent the spread of infection.

Mucus

Stayed the same

Avoid cold and flu germs. Infections can make symptoms worse, so stay away from sick people, and wash your hands to prevent the spread of infection.

Important Safety Information About SYMBICORT

SYMBICORT contains formoterol, a long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA). LABA medicines such as formoterol increase the risk of death from asthma problems. It is not known whether budesonide, the other medicine in SYMBICORT, reduces the risk of death from asthma problems seen with formoterol.

  • Call your health care provider if breathing problems worsen over time while using SYMBICORT. You may need different treatment
  • Get emergency medical care if:
    • Breathing problems worsen quickly, and
    • You use your rescue inhaler medicine, but it does not relieve your breathing problems

SYMBICORT should be used only if your health care provider decides that your asthma is not well controlled with a long-term asthma control medicine, such as an inhaled corticosteroid, or that your asthma is severe enough to begin treatment with SYMBICORT.

If you are taking SYMBICORT, see your health care provider if your asthma does not improve or gets worse. It is important that your health care provider assess your asthma control on a regular basis. Your doctor will decide if it is possible for you to stop taking SYMBICORT and start taking a different long-term asthma control medicine without loss of asthma control.

Children and adolescents who take LABA medicines may have an increased risk of being hospitalized for asthma problems.

SYMBICORT does not replace rescue inhalers for sudden symptoms.

Be sure to tell your health care provider about all your medical conditions, including heart conditions or high blood pressure, and all 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. While taking SYMBICORT, never use another medicine containing a LABA for any reason. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist if any of your other medicines are LABA medicines.

SYMBICORT may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Using too much of a LABA medicine may cause chest pain, increase in blood pressure, fast and irregular heartbeat, headache, tremor, or nervousness
  • Fungal infection in your mouth or throat (thrush). Rinse your mouth with water 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. Call your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms: change in amount or color of mucus, fever, chills, increased cough, or increased breathing problems
  • Immune system effects and a higher chance for infections. Tell your health care provider if you think you are exposed to infections such as chicken pox or measles, or if you have any signs of infection such as fever, pain, body aches, chills, feeling tired, nausea, or vomiting
  • 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
  • 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. Signs include a feeling of pins and needles or numbness of arms or legs, flu like symptoms, rash, pain and swelling of the sinuses
  • Decreases in blood potassium levels (hypokalemia)
  • Increases in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia)

The most common side effects in patients with asthma include nose and throat irritation, headache, upper respiratory tract infection, sore throat, sinusitis, flu, back pain, nasal congestion, stomach discomfort, vomiting, and thrush in the mouth and throat.

The most common side effects in patients with COPD include throat irritation, inflammation of the nasal passages and throat, thrush in the mouth and throat, bronchitis, sinusitis, and upper respiratory tract infection.

Approved Uses for SYMBICORT

SYMBICORT is a medicine for the treatment of asthma for people whose doctor has determined that their asthma is not well controlled with a long-term asthma control medicine such as an inhaled corticosteroid or whose asthma is severe enough to begin treatment with SYMBICORT. SYMBICORT 80/4.5 is for the treatment of asthma for children 6 to less than 12 years. SYMBICORT 80/4.5 and 160/4.5 are for the treatment of asthma for people 12 years and older. SYMBICORT is not a treatment for sudden asthma symptoms.

SYMBICORT 160/4.5 is for adults with COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

You should only take 2 inhalations of SYMBICORT twice a day.

Please see full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide and discuss with your doctor.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.