More Info on Symbicort Effects and Indications
Symbicort Uses for COPDChronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease in which the lungs are damaged, leading to breathing problems. In COPD, the airways are partly obstructed, making it difficult to get air in and out. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are two kinds of COPD. While smoking is the most common cause of COPD, there are other possible causes of COPD. Common COPD symptoms may include:
- Wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe)
- Sputum (mucus) production
- Shortness of breath, especially with exercise
- Chest tightness.
Depending on the severity of your COPD, you healthcare provider may recommend a number of medications as part of your COPD treatment, including:
- Steroids (such as inhaled steroids)
- A yearly flu shot
- Pneumococcal vaccine.
Lifestyle changes are also recommended (see Living With COPD and COPD Rehabilitation). Symbicort contains both a bronchodilator and a steroid. It is used to help keep the airways open (but is not used as a "rescue" medication).
Symbicort contains two different medications: budesonide and formoterol. Formoterol is part of a class of drugs called beta-adrenergic receptor agonists, or beta agonists for short. Beta agonists stimulate beta receptors in the body, including those on the muscles around airways. This stimulation causes the muscles to relax, which opens up the airways and allows more air to get into and through the lungs. Formoterol is a long-acting beta agonist that is used to prevent asthma attacks rather than to treat them.
The other component of Symbicort is budesonide, an asthma medication that belongs to a group of drugs called inhaled corticosteroids, or steroids for short. Inhaled steroids go directly into the lungs and help to decrease the inflammation of airways that makes asthma attacks more likely.
Because Symbicort does not work quickly, it should not be used for treating an asthma attack. Rather, it is used twice a day in order to prevent them.