How to Use Your SYMBICORT Inhaler

COPD is a chronic condition that requires your attention every day.

That’s why you should take SYMBICORT exactly as prescribed by your doctor. It’s important that you don’t miss a dose or take more doses than prescribed. If you do miss a dose, take your next dose at the same time you normally do. Remember, 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

 
 

What can I expect

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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.

 

What can I expect

when I take SYMBICORT?”

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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.

ig-symbicort-inhaler

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 About SYMBICORT Including Boxed WARNING

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 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 health 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 can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract infections. People with COPD may have a higher chance of pneumonia. 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
  • Serious allergic reactions including rash, hives, swelling of the face, mouth and tongue, and breathing problems
  • Immune system effect and a higher chance of infection. 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
  • Using too much of a LABA medicine may cause chest pain, increase in blood pressure, fast and irregular heartbeat, headache, tremor, or nervousness
  • Increased wheezing right after taking SYMBICORT. Always have a rescue inhaler with you to treat sudden wheezing
  • Eye problems including glaucoma and cataracts. You should have regular eye exams while using SYMBICORT
  • 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
  • Swelling of blood vessels (signs include a feeling of pins and needles or numbness of arms or legs, flu like symptoms, rash, pain or swelling of the sinuses), decrease in blood potassium and increase in blood sugar levels

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

Common side effects in patients with COPD include 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 80/4.5 and 160/4.5 are medicines for the treatment of asthma for people 12 years and older 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 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. Higher doses will not provide additional benefits.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNING, 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.