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 is ready 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

  • 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.

You may report side effects related to AstraZeneca products by clicking here.

This site is intended for US consumers only.

The information on this Web site should not take the place of talking with your doctor or health care professional. If you have any questions about your condition, or if you would like more information about SYMBICORT, asthma, or COPD, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Only you and your doctor can decide if SYMBICORT is right for you.

 
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