Asthma Home > Important Instructions for Symbicort


In clinical studies on asthma, Symbicort was shown to improve breathing more than either of the two active ingredients (budesonide and formoterol) used alone. People taking Symbicort had greater improvements in lung function and needed to use their rescue inhalers less often, compared to those taking just budesonide, just formoterol, or no medication at all.

When and How to Take Symbicort

General considerations for when and how to use the medication include the following:
  • Symbicort comes in a metered-dose inhaler (called an "MDI").
  • The medication is inhaled into the lungs, usually twice daily, with about 12 hours between doses.
  • You should "test spray" each Symbicort inhaler before your first use of it, or if you have not used it for more than a week. To test-spray the inhaler, shake the inhaler, and then spray it into the air twice by pressing on the top of the canister.
  • Shake your asthma inhaler gently before each use.
  • Wait at least one minute in between inhalations.
  • Rinse out your mouth (without swallowing) after each dose in order to prevent thrush.
  • It is important to learn exactly how to use your inhaler. It may be difficult at first and may require practice.
  • The spray should be inhaled into the lungs, not sprayed onto the back of the throat and swallowed. To accomplish this, you will need to breathe in while spraying the inhaler.
  • Most people put the mouthpiece of the inhaler directly into their mouths. However, many healthcare professionals now recommend placing the inhaler an inch or two away from the mouth. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way for you to use the inhaler.
  • Each inhaler contains 120 sprays. Try to keep track of approximately how many sprays you have used in order to know when to replace the inhaler. Do not place the inhaler in water to see if it is empty (although this was recommended in the past).
  • For Symbicort to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. The medicine will not work if you stop taking it.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
Other Articles in This eMedTV Presentation

Topics & Medications


Related Channels

eMedTV Links
Copyright © 2006-2019 Clinaero, Inc.

eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.