For the treatment of asthma and COPD, the recommended dose of Symbicort is usually two inhalations twice a day, with 12 hours between doses. The strength of each inhalation will depend on the condition being treated, the severity of your symptoms, and other factors. The inhaler may be difficult to use at first -- talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions about Symbicort dosing or do not know how to use your inhaler.
The dose of Symbicort® (budesonide and formoterol) that your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- The medical condition being treated
- The severity of your breathing problems
- Other medications (including COPD asthma medications) you may be taking.
As is always the case, do not adjust your Symbicort dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
The recommended dose of Symbicort for asthma depends on the type and dose of other asthma medications you may have taken in the past, varying from two inhalations of Symbicort 80/4.5 twice daily to two inhalations of Symbicort 160/4.5 twice daily.
The recommended Symbicort dose for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatment is two inhalations (of the 160/4.5 strength) twice daily.
General considerations for when and how to use Symbicort include the following:
- Symbicort comes in a metered-dose inhaler (called an "MDI").
- The medicine 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 Symbicort 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 Symbicort 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 it 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 medication will not work if you stop taking it.