The main uses of Symbicort are for the prevention of asthma attacks and COPD. Rather than treating asthma attacks, the medication helps control symptoms to prevent attacks from occurring. The combination medicine can be used in both adults and children age 12 and older.
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air into and out of your lungs. If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen). The inflammation makes the airways very sensitive, and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating. When the airways react, they narrow and less air flows to your lungs. This is called bronchospasm, and it causes asthma symptoms, such as:
- Wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe)
- Tightness in the chest
- Trouble breathing.
While there is no asthma cure, the condition can be controlled. There are many different asthma treatments, including fast-acting "rescue medications" for treating an asthma attack and longer-acting "controller medications" used to prevent asthma attacks. Symbicort is a controller medication, used to help prevent asthma attacks (but not to treat an attack). Everyone who takes Symbicort should also have a rescue medication available (such as an albuterol inhaler) for emergency situations.