Budesonide/Formoterol (Symbicort) Rapihaler

Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Symbicort is an inhaler used for the regular treatment of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is a progressive lung disease that affects the body’s ability to breathe well.
Symbicort contains two ingredients - Budesonide and Formoterol. Budesonide is a steroid that reduces inflammation in the airways. Formoterol opens up the airway, making it easier for air to move in and out of the lung, therefore helping you to breathe more easily.

How should I use this medication?

  • Use your Symbicort inhaler regularly as directed. Do not stop using the inhaler without checking with your healthcare professional, even if you feel well or there are no symptoms.
  • Preparing the inhaler before use
​Shake the inhaler gently.  
​For a new inhaler, release
  • 3 puffs into the air, if you are using the 40mcg/2.5mcg inhalation
  • 2 puffs into the air, if you are using inhalers of other strengths
​For inhalers that have not been used for more than a week or have been dropped, release 2 puffs into the air.

  • Administering the medication 
​Shake the inhaler before use.
​Remove the mouthpiece cover. 
​Hold the inhaler upright in front of your mouth. Breathe out as far as you can and put the mouthpiece in your mouth (between your teeth) and close your lips around it.
​Start to breathe in deeply and slowly through your mouth. Press down firmly on the counter to release the medication at the same time.
​Remove the inhaler from your mouth. Hold your breath for approximately 10 seconds or for as long as comfortable.
​Shake the inhaler then repeat Steps 3 to 5 if another puff is required.
​Put the mouthpiece cover back to the original position to prevent dust and debris from accumulating.
​Rinse your mouth with water after use

  • Cleaning the inhaler
​Remove the mouthpiece cover.
​Wipe the inside and outside of the mouthpiece with a clean, dry cloth.
​Replace the mouthpiece cover.
​It is recommended to clean the inhaler at least once a week. Do not put the inhaler in water or dismantle the inhaler.

  • Reading the counter
    • The counter helps you to keep track of the number of puffs left in the inhaler.
    • Discard the inhaler when the counter reaches zero as you have used up the inhalations in the inhaler.
    • Your inhaler may not feel empty, and it may still operate but you will not get the right amount of medication if you continue to use it.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if:
  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • ou are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Mild irritation in the throat, hoarseness
  • Increase risk of fungal infections in the throat
    • Rinsing your mouth and spit out the water after using the inhaler to reduce risk of infections
  • Palpitations, headache, tremor
These side effects may or may not occur, but if they do, they should improve over time. Please approach your healthcare provider if the symptoms are bothersome or do not show improvement after a period of time.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?


How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. 

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on Dec 2021
Budesonide/Formoterol (Symbicort) Rapihaler

 Catalog-Item Reuse

Back to Top