[Close]Chrome, Firefox and Edge do not support opening, entering data and saving this type of PDF in the browser. Save to your computer and use Adobe Acrobat Reader for full functionality. The "Please wait…" message you may get when clicking on it is an error message in disguise.

To download from the "Please wait" page, move your cursor to the top right, click on the download icon, and choose where to save it on your computer. Once saved, you will be able to open with Adobe Acrobat Reader and use all of the features of the action plan. Email GetAsthmaHelpInfo@gmail.com for more help.

Medication Detail

image of medication detailed on this page

Medication Type

Long Term Control, should be taken every day as prescribed

Generic Names

Budesonide and Formoterol

Brand Names



This medication is a combination inhaler used to treat long term asthma symptoms. It prevents irritation and swelling in the airways, and causes muscles in the airways to relax over time, opening them for easier breathing.


MDI (metered dose inhaler)


Symbicort can be used with a spacer.


2 inhalations twice daily (maximum 4 inhalations/day); doses should be 12 hours apart

Proper Use

  • See instructions for proper use.
  • If you are using more than 1 type of inhaler, ask your doctor which one to use first.
  • Symbicort 80/4.5, Symbicort 160/4.5: The inhaler must be prepared before first use, if not used for more than 7 days, and if the inhaler has been dropped. Shake well for 5 seconds before each spray. Prepare inhaler by releasing 2 test sprays into the air. Shake well for 5 seconds before each use. Rinse your mouth out with water and spit after use to reduce chance of mouth or throat infection.
  • Discard inhaler when the dose counter reaches "0" or within 3 months after removal from foil pouch (do not use the "float test" to determine amount remaining in canister).
  • For proper inhaler technique visit our inhaler page.


  • Do NOT use this drug to treat an asthma attack.
  • If you have been taking this drug for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop this drug.
  • Avoid being near anyone with chickenpox or measles.
  • Talk with your doctor if you have glaucoma or cataracts, high blood sugar (diabetes), a fast heartbeat, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, soft and brittle bones (osteoporosis), overactive thyroid, seizures, or if you are being treated for any type of infection.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding.

Common Interactions

This medication interacts with some other medications, including nonselective beta-blockers (levobunolol, nadolol, propranolol, sotalol, timolol), citalopram, and others.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your medications and health problems so they can check for any interactions.

Possible Side Effects

Possible side effects include sore throat, upset stomach, or stuffy or runny nose.

Contact your doctor or seek medical attention if you notice any signs of infection (chills, fever, bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain).

Proper Storage

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from heat, light, and water.
  • Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.
  • Throw away the inhaler if the dose counter has not reached "0" within 3 months after taking inhaler out of foil package.
  • Keep HFA inhaler away from open flame. Do not puncture canister. Do not store in extreme temperatures, such as in a parked car. Do not use the "float test" to test if canister is empty. Use dose counter to check number of doses remaining in the inhaler.

Return to List of Medications