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Breathing is something that most people take for granted, but for Canadians who have asthma, breathing can be quite a challenge. While asthma is considered a chronic disease, it can be controlled. Symbicort is one of the well-known medications out there used by many people as a maintenance treatment for asthma. Let’s explore the effectiveness of Symbicort as an asthma medication.

What is Symbicort?

Symbicort is a brand-name prescription medication that is mainly used for routine treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). It comes as a metered-dose inhaler with a fixed number of inhalations per canister.

There are two active ingredients in Symbicort—budesonide and formoterol. Budesonide belongs to a class of medications called corticosteroids that treat swelling and inflammation from allergic reactions, including asthma. The other ingredient, formoterol, is a long-acting bronchodilator, which opens up the lungs’ air passages to make breathing easier.

Symbicort is a maintenance medication taken regularly, and unlike rescue inhalers, it is not recommended to treat sudden breathing problems. If a patient requires emergency treatment of asthma, a Ventolin inhaler containing albuterol would be a better choice.

Benefits of Symbicort

Symbicort is beneficial to adults and children over the age of six that are suffering from moderate-to-severe asthma. A specific dosage and strength of Symbicort can also be used as a treatment for people with COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. This medication can reduce inflammation and airflow of obstruction for those patients.

While some inhalers contain only corticosteroids or just bronchodilators, Symbicort contains both types of drugs. Having two medications in one inhaler is more convenient than having two separate ones. With the double-acting nature of the combined medicine, there is a noticeable increase in its efficacy on patients.

Common Side Effects

Along with its desired effects, Symbicort may cause some unwanted effects as well. Although no all of these effects may occur, the patient still needs medical attention when any of them do occur. Some of those common side effects are:

  • Body aches or pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Loss of Voice
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Ear congestion
  • Muscle Aches
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Tightness of the chest

Symbicort’s Response and Effectiveness

The effectiveness of Symbicort depends on regular usage. Upon inhalation, a patient will have to wait at least 15 minutes before feeling any improvement in asthma control. However, it can take as long as two weeks before the medication’s full benefits are seen. Response times and degree of effectiveness can vary from person to person due to a number of factors.

When budesonide is orally administered, it will be rapidly absorbed into the lungs and will reach peak concentrations within 20 minutes. Formoterol, when inhaled, starts to work within three minutes, and 80% of its peak effect occurs within 15 minutes. Both drugs, when combined, can offer relief when breathing and can last approximately 12 hours.


Symbicort has long been proven as an effective countermeasure for chronic conditions like asthma and COPD. It is a combination inhaler containing two active ingredients that work together to reduce tightness in breathing. While it is unable to cure patients completely, it offers relief and the prevention of severe asthma attacks. 

If you need your prescriptions filled and delivered on your doorstep, trust Rite Choice Pharmacy to help. We offer free prescription delivery in a matter of hours. Our pharmacists will help communicate and manage your prescription with your doctor, so you always have the medication you need. Contact us today!