|Formoterol||Long-acting beta-adrenoceptor agonist|
|Trade names||Symbicort, DuoResp Spiromax, BiResp Spiromax, others|
|Defined daily dose||not established|
|AHFS/Drugs.com||Professional Drug Facts|
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||774.952 g·mol−1|
|3D model (JSmol)|
Budesonide/formoterol, sold under the brand name Symbicort among others, is a combination medication used in the management of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It contains budesonide, a steroid and formoterol, a long-acting β2-agonist (LABA). The product monograph does not support its use for sudden worsening or treatment of active bronchospasm. However, a 2020 review of the literature does support such use. It is used by breathing in the medication.
Common side effects include throat pain, influenza, runny nose, and a yeast infection of the mouth. There were concerns that the LABA component increases the risk of death in children with asthma, however these concerns were removed in 2017. Therefore, this combination is only recommended in those who are not controlled on an inhaled steroid alone. There is tentative evidence that typical doses of inhaled steroids and LABAs are safe in pregnancy. Both formoterol and budesonide are excreted in breast-milk.
Budesonide/formoterol was approved for medical use in the United States in 2006. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines. In the United States, as of 2017, the wholesale cost of an inhaler is about US$30. In the United Kingdom, the cost as of 2015, was about GB£35 for a unit with 120 doses. In 2017, it was the 74th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than ten million prescriptions.
The combination is approved in the United States only as a maintenance medication in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, a 2020 review of the literature does support use as needed during acute worsening in those with mild disease, and as maintenance followed by extra doses during worsening.
Use for both maintenance and as needed treatment is also known as single maintenance and reliever therapy ( SMART) and is a well-established treatment. It has been shown to reduce asthma exacerbations that require oral corticosteroids, hospital visits better than maintenance inhaled corticosteroids alone at a higher dose, or inhaled corticosteroid at the same or higher dose with a long acting bronchodilator (LABA)), with a short-acting bronchodilator (SABA) as a reliever. More studies using budesonide/formoterol SMART in children are needed.
Common (up to 1 in 10 people)
- Mild throat irritation
- Oral candidiasis (thrush. significantly less likely if the patient rinses their mouth out with water after inhalations)
Often mild, and usually disappear as the medication continues to be used:
Uncommon (up to 1 in 100 people)
- Feeling restlessness, nervous, or agitated
- Disturbed sleep
- Feeling dizzy
- Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
- Bruising of the skin
- Muscle cramps
Rare (up to 1 in 1,000 people)
- Bronchospasm (tightening of the muscles in the airways causing wheezing immediately after use of the medication, which is possibly sign of an allergic reaction and should be met with immediate medical attention)
- Hypokalemia (low levels of potassium in the blood)
- Heart arrhythmia
Very rare (up to 1 in 10,000 people)
- Changes in behaviour, especially in children
- Chest pain or tightness in chest
- Increase in blood glucose levels
- Taste changes, such as an unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Changes in blood pressure
With high doses for a long period of time.
- Reduced bone mineral density, causing osteoporosis
- Slowed rate of growth in children and adolescents
- Dysfunction of the adrenal gland, which affects the production of various hormones
- Angioedema (swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, and/or throat. Difficulty swallowing. Hives. Difficulty breathing. Feeling of faintness)
- Bronchospasm (sudden acute wheezing or shortness of breath immediately after use of medication. The patient should use their reliever medication immediately.)
Society and culture
In the United States, as of 2017, the wholesale cost of an inhaler is about US$30. In the United Kingdom, the cost as of 2015, was about GB£35 for a unit with 120 doses. In 2017, it was the 74th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than ten million prescriptions.
Symbicort in the United States is a metered-dose inhaler and is available in 160/4.5mcg and 80/4.5mcg per actuation.
In the European Union, Australia, Canada, Israel, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere the combination is available as a dry powder inhaler in the following doses: 50/3 (40/2.25), 100/3 (80/2.25), 100/6 (80/4.5), 200/6 (160/4.5) and 400/12 (320/9), where the larger number is the dose per actuation of budesonide (in micrograms) and the lower number the dose of formoterol (also in micrograms).[medical citation needed]
Budesonide/formoterol formulation was introduced in Sweden in 2000. It was approved for use in the United States in July 2006. It is now[when?] approved for use in at least 70 countries, yielding global sales in excess of $1 billion in 2005, and now[when?] approximately $3.7 billion per annum.
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<ref>tag; name "Drugs.com Pregnancy" defined multiple times with different content
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evidence for safety of usual doses of ICS and LABA
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