pack of Symbicort (200/6 µg) preventer inhaler

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Symbicort Turbohaler

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pack of Symbicort (200/6 µg) preventer inhaler

Symbicort turbohaler is an inhaler used for people with asthma. It contains a corticosteroid called budesonide and a bronchodilator called formoterol. These combined can prevent and relieve asthma symptoms. If you have already been prescribed a Symbicort turbohaler by your GP, you can order a repeat prescription through Superdrug Online Doctor.


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Symbicort (100/6 µg) / 2 Inhalers £56 / £108.00
Symbicort (200/6 µg) / 2 Inhalers £59 / £110.00
Symbicort (400/12µg) / 2 Inhalers £59 / £112.00

Prices include prescription and delivery.

In a hurry? Choose Click and Collect and pick up your order after just 4 hours from a Superdrug Pharmacy.

Delivery options

Delivery method Cost Estimated delivery

You will choose your delivery option at the checkout. Delivery options may vary depending on the pack size and dosage chosen.

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Order A Symbicort Inhaler Online
Symbicort is a red and white inhaler with 2 active ingredients (medications). Some asthma patients use a combination inhaler such as this to prevent and relieve asthma symptoms, whilst some use it just as a preventer. It contains budesonide, which is a corticosteroid and formoterol, which is known as a bronchodilator. These can help with asthma symptoms by reducing inflammation in the lungs and keeping the airways open.

What is Symbicort used for?

Symbicort can be used as a ‘preventer’ inhaler, which means it should be taken every day to prevent asthma symptoms. But it can also be taken as a ‘reliever’ inhaler, to treat symptoms when you get them.

Symbicort is used for people with asthma who need more than just their ‘reliever’ inhaler. You can use it to relieve symptoms when they occur, and also to prevent them from happening in the first place, so you get the best of both.

It contains 2 medications, to help prevent the symptoms from happening.
  1. Formoterol: this works by relaxing the muscles in your airways, making it easier to breathe. It is a longer-acting bronchodilator. This can also help to get the best effect from your corticosteroid when taken together. 
  2. Budesonide: this is known as a corticosteroid and it works by preventing and reducing swelling and irritation in the lungs.

What is the active ingredient?

There are 2 active ingredients in Symbicort turbohaler. Formoterol, which is a long-acting bronchodilator and budesonide which is a corticosteroid. Budesonide and formoterol work together in the body to help treat and relieve asthma symptoms.

What is a Turbohaler?

A turbohaler is a type of inhaler which contains dry powder. This can then be inhaled to get the medication to work inside the airways for people with asthma. You are not likely to taste or feel the dry powder if you use your Symbicort turbohaler properly. 

Is Symbicort a steroid?

Yes, Symbicort contains a corticosteroid called budesonide. This means you should tell your  doctor before using Symbicort if you are using any other steroid medication. 

Is Symbicort the same as Pulmicort?

Symbicort and Pulmicort are not the same, and so should not be used alongside each other. Symbicort and Pulmicort both contain the same medication budesonide. Symbicort is slightly different, as it also contains another medication called formoterol.
Symbicort works when the 2 medications, budesonide and formoterol, are inhaled into the lungs. For asthma patients, these medications can prevent and relieve asthma symptoms, meaning you will not have symptoms as often, and they may be less severe.

Symbicort is known as a combination inhaler, which means it must be used every day as instructed by your doctor to get the best relief from symptoms. It can also be prescribed as a preventer and reliever together. Budesonide works to prevent asthma by reducing irritation and swelling in the airways. It can also relieve asthma symptoms as they happen, as formoterol can relax the muscles around the airways, making it easier to breathe as the airway opens up more. 

Symbicort dosages

Symbicort is available in the following doses:
  • 100/6 µg (can be used by children over 6 years, adolescents, and adults unless they have severe asthma)
  • 200/6 µg (can be used to relieve and prevent asthma symptoms in adolescents and adults)
  • 400/12 µg (used as a ‘preventer’ only)
The strength of the inhaler and dose you take must be personalised to you and your symptoms. It is different for everyone, so the doses here are just a guide to what you might expect. 

If you use your Symbicort as just a ‘preventer’ inhaler the usual dose is 1 to 2 puffs, 2 times a day. You might be recommended to have up to 4 puffs, 2 times a day if your asthma symptoms are severe, and depending on the strength of your inhaler. If your symptoms are mild, you may be told to only use Symbicort once a day.

Your doctor might tell you that you can also use your Symbicort inhaler to relieve symptoms if you get them. When you get asthma symptoms, take 1 puff and wait 2 to 3 minutes for the medication to work. If you need another inhalation, repeat these steps.

Make sure to not take more than 6 puffs at once and do not take more than 12 puffs in 24 hours. You should not normally need to take more than 8 puffs in 24 hours. If you ever need to take more than 8 puffs in 24 hours, you should be speaking to your doctor for advice about your asthma symptoms.
When taking your Symbicort inhaler, follow these steps:
  1. Take the cover off your inhaler and keep it upright.
  2. Load your inhaler with a dose. Twist the grip all the way in one direction, as far as it will go and then do the same in the other direction, making sure to not cover the mouthpiece while doing so. You should hear a click sound on the first or second twist and this means your inhaler is now loaded.
  3. Breathe out as much as is comfortable.
  4. Put the mouthpiece of the inhaler between your teeth but do not bite down. Close your lips around the mouthpiece and breathe in deeply. 
  5. Remove the inhaler and then breathe out again, gently. If you need another puff, follow the same steps again.
  6. Put the cover back on your inhaler and store safely.
  7. Always rinse your mouth after your last dose with water and spit it out. This will remove any powder and can prevent thrush and some other side effects. 
You can also find the instructions on using your Symbicort inhaler in the patient information leaflet.

When should I use my inhaler?

You should use your inhaler as prescribed by your doctor and it should be used every day to prevent symptoms. If you are also using your Symbicort inhaler as a ‘reliever’ inhaler, use it when you first get asthma symptoms. If you feel like you need more puffs of the inhaler than prescribed, speak to your doctor. 

How long does a Symbicort Inhaler take to work?

Symbicort starts working to relieve asthma symptoms within 15 minutes. When using your inhaler daily to prevent symptoms, you will start to see your asthma symptoms improving within 3 to 7 days. 

How often can I use my Symbicort inhaler?

Always use your Symbicort inhaler as instructed by your doctor. You should use it as often as prescribed and if you are also using Symbicort as a ‘reliever’ inhaler, you should use it when you first get asthma symptoms. If you miss a dose of your inhaler, never take a double dose to make up for this. Instead, continue taking your doses normally when they are next due. 

How many puffs of Symbicort is safe?

Symbicort is safe in prescribed doses. Do not take more than 6 puffs at a time or more than 12 puffs in 24 hours. If you feel like you need to use it more than this, speak with your doctor. If you take more than you should, you may get some side effects, such as a fast heartbeat, shaking, and headaches. 

How long does my Symbicort inhaler last?

You can get a Symbicort inhaler in 60 or 120 doses. Your inhaler will usually have a dose indicator, which will tell you how many doses you have left. If you use a Symbicort inhaler with 120 doses, 2 times a day and take 4 puffs each day, your inhaler would last 30 days. If you use your inhaler as a ‘reliever’ inhaler too, it will last a shorter amount of time. 

How to maintain your Symbicort inhaler

Make sure you clean the mouthpiece of your Symbicort inhaler once a week, with a tissue. Be sure not to use any cleaning products or water to clean the inhaler. 

How to store your Symbicort inhaler

As your inhaler contains medication, be sure to keep it far from children. Store it somewhere that is easy to access if you need it. Do not use your Symbicort inhaler after the expiry date and ask a pharmacist how you can safely throw away your inhaler when it is finished.
Symbicort is a prescription only medication, so you’ll need to have an asthma assessment with your GP before you can get a prescription. If you’ve been prescribed Symbicort, you can buy your repeat prescription for Symbicort online, through retailers like Superdrug Online Doctor.

Can I get Symbicort online?

Yes, through trusted and regulated sellers like Superdrug Online Doctor. The process is easy and can be done via our website: 

  1. Fill in an easy, secure medical questionnaire. Here, you will be able to answer questions about your symptoms and other medical information.
  2. One of the doctors will then review your questionnaire and check the treatment is safe for you. 
  3. Your prescription Symbicort turbohaler can then be dispensed for you to collect in-store at any Superdrug, delivered to your home address, or collected at your local Post Office. 
  4. If you have any further questions, you can contact a doctor via your account at any time, for free. 

Can I get Symbicort over the counter?

No, Symbicort is a prescription only medication so must be prescribed by a doctor first. 

Can I get Symbicort on the NHS?

Yes, you are able to get Symbicort prescribed on the NHS. You may find Symbicort under a generic name, rather than the branded name.
As Symbicort contains 2 medications, it can cause side effects. Many of these will go away within a few days of taking Symbicort, as your body gets used to taking the medication. If they do not, speak with a doctor as you may need a different inhaler. If you experience swelling, faintness, or sudden wheezing, stop using your Symbicort inhaler and speak to a doctor straight away. 

The most common side effects of Symbicort include:
  • thrush (white and red patches in the mouth) 
  • faster heartbeat
  • shaking
  • sore throat
  • headaches
Uncommon side effects include:
  • dizziness
  • muscle cramps
  • feeling nervous
  • trouble sleeping
  • nausea
  • bruising
  • blurry vision
Rare side effects include:
  • allergic reaction
  • rash
  • wheezing
  • uneven heartbeat
  • lowered potassium levels in the blood
Very rare side effects include:
  • behaviour changes
  • chest pain
  • depression
  • increased sugar levels in the blood
  • a bad taste in the mouth
  • blood pressure changes

Extended use of Symbicort

As Symbicort contains a corticosteroid, it can have other side effects when used for an extended time. This is because the body naturally produces steroid hormones and the medication can affect the levels of the natural steroid hormones.

These changes may include:
  • changes in vision, cataracts, and glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)
  • thinning of the bones
  • slower growing rate in children
  • adrenal gland problems 

Can you overdose on Symbicort?

If you use Symbicort more than you should, you can overdose on the medication. This is unlikely to cause serious harm but may come with some side effects, such as a faster heartbeat, headaches, and shaking. Do not take more than the recommended amount which is 6 puffs at one time, or 12 puffs in 24 hours. 

Does Symbicort cause weight gain?

Symbicort contains a corticosteroid which is sometimes linked to weight gain when used at high doses or for long periods. When inhaled (breathed in), corticosteroids are unlikely to cause weight gain, as you are only inhaling a small dose at a time. Speak to your doctor if you are worried about gaining weight.
There are some asthma patients that will not be able to take Symbicort because of another medical condition or medication that they are taking. You should also not take Symbicort if you are allergic to formoterol, budesonide, or any other ingredient in the inhaler. If you are not sure, speak with your doctor before use. 

Symbicort and other conditions

Symbicort can make certain medical conditions worse and should not be taken.

Symbicort may not be right for you if you:
  • have a lung infection
  • are diabetic
  • have problems with your adrenal or thyroid glands
  • have high blood pressure
  • have, or have ever had a heart problem
  • have low potassium levels
  • have liver problems
If you become pregnant whilst taking Symbicort, do not stop taking it, but speak to your doctor right away. If you want to breastfeed, you should also check with your doctor. 

Symbicort drug interactions

Some medications can interact with Symbicort, making it unsafe to take. If you take any medications, check with your doctor before you use your inhaler.

Symbicort may not be right for you if you take:
  • medication for your heart
  • beta-blockers including for high blood pressure, or eyedrops for glaucoma
  • antidepressants
  • medication for thyroid problems 
  • Phenothiazine medicines (such as prochlorperazine and chlorpromazine)
  • medication to treat high blood pressure
  • steroid tablets
  • other bronchodilators, such as salbutamol
  • Xanthine medicines 
  • HIV medication
  • medication to treat Parkinson’s
  • medication to treat infections

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