What should I know about Symbicort before using it?

Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol) is not meant to treat an acute episode of asthma or a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease flare-up. It does not work quickly enough for this purpose. Fast-acting bronchodilator drugs, which will quickly open the airways, are required for acute episodes. Before using Symbicort, you should know that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a warning for all long acting beta-agonist (LABA) drugs including formoterol, which is contained in Symbicort. The warning states that there is an increased risk of asthma-related death associated with the use of these drugs. It was based on a study of another LABA, salmeterol. It is not known whether formoterol alone is associated with an increased risk or whether the concurrent use of a steroid (as occurs with Symbicort) decreases the risk.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.