budesonide/formoterol hfa inhaler (Symbicort)
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: budesonide and formoterol fumarate inhaler aerosol
BRAND NAME: Symbicort
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Symbicort is a combination of inhaled drugs that is used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In patients with asthma or COPD the smaller airways (bronchioles) through which air moves in and out of thelungs can be narrowed by accumulation of mucus, spasm of the muscles that surround these airways, or swelling of the lining of the airways due to inflammation. Airway narrowing leads to symptoms of shortness of breath, wheezing, cough, and congestion. Medications used in treating asthma or COPD include those that open airways, called bronchodilators, and those that reduce inflammation.
Symbicort contains a combination of formoterol, a long acting beta-2 adrenergic agonist (LABA) bronchodilator, and budesonide, an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid. Beta-2 agonists are medications that attach to beta-2 receptors on the smooth muscle cells that surround the airways, causing the muscle cells to relax and open the airways. Budesonide is a synthetic (man-made) corticosteroid of the glucocorticoid family which is related to the natural hormone, cortisol or hydrocortisone, produced by the adrenal glands. Glucocorticoid steroids have potent anti-inflammatory actions. In asthmatic patients and people with COPD, the suppression of inflammation within the airways reduces the swelling caused by inflammation that narrows the airways. At the same time, production of mucus is reduced.
When used in lower doses, very little inhaled budesonide is absorbed into the body and side effects are infrequent. When higher doses are used, budesonide is absorbed and may cause side effects elsewhere in the body. The FDA approved Symbicort in July 2006.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Symbicort is used for treating asthma in patients 12 years of age and older and for treating COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It should not be used for treating acute bronchospasm.
SIDE EFFECTS WARNING:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/20/2015
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