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All about: budesonide and formoterol inhalation

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Generic Name: budesonide and formoterol inhalation (byoo DES oh nide and for MOH te rol)
Brand Names: Symbicort

What is budesonide and formoterol inhalation?

Budesonide is a steroid that reduces inflammation in the body.

Formoterol is a long-acting bronchodilator that relaxes muscles in the airways to improve breathing.

The combination of budesonide and formoterol is used to prevent bronchospasm in people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Budesonide and formoterol inhalation may also be used for conditions other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about budesonide and formoterol inhalation?

Do not use budesonide and formoterol inhalation to treat an asthma attack that has already begun. It will not work fast enough to reverse your symptoms. Use another, short-acting inhalation medication to treat an asthma attack. Budesonide and formoterol inhalation may increase the risk of asthma-related death. It is critical that you use only the prescribed dose of this medicine and follow all patient instructions for safe use. Talk with your doctor about your individual risks and benefits in using budesonide and formoterol inhalation.

Asthma is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor.

Seek medical attention if you think any of your asthma medications are not working as well as usual. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack.

It is important to use budesonide and formoterol inhalation regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using budesonide and formoterol inhalation?

Budesonide and formoterol inhalation may increase the risk of asthma-related death. It is critical that you use only the prescribed dose of this medicine and follow all patient instructions for safe use. Talk with your doctor about your individual risks and benefits in using budesonide and formoterol inhalation.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to budesonide or formoterol, or if you have:

  • a food or drug allergy;

  • heart disease or high blood pressure;

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • diabetes;

  • herpes infection of the eyes;

  • tuberculosis;

  • any active infection;

  • a metabolic disorder (such as low potassium levels in your blood); or

  • a thyroid disorder.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use budesonide and formoterol inhalation, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use budesonide and formoterol inhalation without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 12 years old.

Long-term use of a steroid medicine may lead to bone loss (osteoporosis). Other factors such as smoking, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and family history of osteoporosis can increase your risk of bone loss. Talk with your doctor if you have any of these risk factors.

How should I use budesonide and formoterol inhalation?

Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label. It is important to use budesonide and formoterol inhalation regularly to get the most benefit.

Do not use budesonide and formoterol inhalation to treat an asthma attack that has already begun. It will not work fast enough to reverse your symptoms. Use another, short-acting inhalation medication to treat an asthma attack.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. This device is not to be used with a spacer. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Always rinse your mouth after using the inhaler device.

Prime the inhaler device before the first use by pumping 2 test sprays into the air, away from your face. Shake the inhaler for at least 5 seconds before each spray. Prime the inhaler if it has not been used for longer than 7 days, or if the inhaler has been dropped.

Asthma is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor.

Seek medical attention if you think any of your asthma medications are not working as well as usual. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Your eyes may also need to be checked for cataracts or glaucoma. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Using a steroid can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to get sick from being around others who are ill. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medicines.

You may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop using budesonide and formoterol after using it over a long period of time. Withdrawal symptoms include joint or muscle pain, depression, and tired feeling. Do not stop using this medication suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

Do not try to clean or take apart the inhaler device. Throw it away when the medicine runs out. The dose indicator on the inhaler will turn red when there are 10 doses left in the device. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely. Always use the new device provided with the medication when you get your prescription refilled.

Store this medication at room temperature, away from moisture, light, and heat. Always keep the cover on the inhaler device when you are not using it.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and use the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of a budesonide and formoterol inhalation overdose may include chest pain, nervousness, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, sleep problems (insomnia), tremors, chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeats, feeling weak or light-headed, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while using budesonide and formoterol inhalation?

Avoid using other long-acting inhaled bronchodilators such as salmeterol (Advair, Serevent) or formoterol (Foradil Aerolizer) while you are using budesonide and formoterol inhalation.

Budesonide and formoterol inhalation side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, tremors, nervousness;

  • wheezing, choking, or other breathing problems after using this medication;

  • fever, flu symptoms;

  • white patches or sores in your mouth or throat; or

  • worsening asthma symptoms.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur, such as:

  • headache;

  • back pain;

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach;

  • back pain, muscle cramps;

  • sore throat, stuffy nose;

  • joint or muscle pain; or

  • changes in your voice.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect formoterol?

Before using budesonide and formoterol inhalation tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • antibiotics such as ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), azithromycin (Zithromax), clarithromycin (Biaxin), dirithromycin (Dynabac), erythromycin (E-Mycin, E.E.S., Erythrocin, Ery-Tab), or telithromycin (Ketek);

  • an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate);

  • antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), amoxapine (Ascendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), or trimipramine (Surmontil);

  • a beta-blocker such as acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin), betaxolol (Kerlone), bisoprolol (Zebeta), carteolol (Cartrol), carvedilol (Coreg), esmolol (Brevibloc), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), penbutolol (Levatol), pindolol (Visken), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), sotalol (Betapace), or timolol (Blocadren); or

  • a diuretic (water pill) such as bumetanide (Bumex), chlorthalidone (Hygroton, Thalitone), ethacrynic acid (Edecrin), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril), indapamide (Lozol), metolazone (Mykrox, Zarxolyn), torsemide (Demadex).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use budesonide and formoterol inhalation, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect budesonide and formoterol inhalation. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has information about budesonide and formoterol inhalation written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Budesonide and formoterol inhalation is available with a prescription under the brand name Symbicort. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.01. Revision Date: 8/29/06 4:36:09 PM.

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