The new Symbicort SMART inhaler

I was wondering if any of our esteemed medical professionals has had any direct experience of this-either personally or prescribed to their patients-is it as good as it sounds?-I ask this because although my Seretide has undoubtedly done me some good,I would prefer not to take any steroid medication if possible and this sounds like it might be a good alternative.

8 Replies

  • I am sure the Symbicort SMART does have a steriod in it? I may be wrong but i'm pretty sure it does.

    MY Asthma nurse wanted me to go on to this but i was very wary that i would struggle with it during an attack etc. I know i posted and got quite a few replies I think it'll be further down in medical if thats any help?


  • You could be right lauren,in which case I will don the dunces cap and sit quietly at the back-D,OH!

  • I might be wrong but I was pretty sure Symbicort was part long lasting reliever and other part steriod but i am often wrong! I'll get up and check the leaflet with mine in a bit!


  • Yep; Symbicort SMART is exactly the same as good ole Symbicort, except that now it's officially licenced for use as a reliever they've added SMART to the name, seemingly just to confuse everyone.

    Symbicort does indeed contain a steroid - budesonide, along with formoterol. As Laurenjayne says, it's part reliever, part preventer.

  • Hi bluejam

    Symbicort does have steroid in it - it contains budesonide (Pulmicort) and formoterol (a long-acting, but immediate onset, reliever). The idea behind Symbicort SMART is that it is the same as the combination inhaler that people take twice a day (similar to with Seretide) but rather than just taking it twice a day, you also use it as a reliever - so if your asthma is less well controlled, and you are using more reliever, you will automatically get more steroid as well. Inital studies have shown that it does improve control to take it this way.

    I don't have any direct or indirect experience of it, but what I have read in the literature does seem encouraging, that it could be useful in certain patient groups.

    I wonder why you are reluctant to take any steroid medication - is it because of concerns about side effects? The risk of significant systemic (body-wide) side effects with inhaled steroids is minimal. The risk of local side effects such as hoarse voice and oral thrush can be reduced by using a spacer and by rinsing your mouth out afterwards.

    Although there are other treatments for asthma that don't include steroids, like inhalers that contain purely long acting relievers, you will find that most doctors will be reluctant to prescribe them without the addition of steroids. This is because the use of such drugs without steroids has been shown to increase the risk of death - probably because they treat the symptoms but not the underlying inflammation.

    Hope this helps,

    Em H

  • Thanks for clearing that up everyone-I was thinking that it was a relief/protector combo-I have had afew side effects from steroid medications-when I first started on them,my face looked like I was sunburned!-although I dont get as many side effects with the admittedly lower dosage Seretide I still get mad sweats and my face goes very prickly-almost sore from time to time-""menopausal"" as my asthma nurse always says-I,ve had umpteen blood and urine tests to see what might cause it but nothing ever shows up on them so ,perhaps illogically,I blame the steroids!

  • Doesnt sound illogical to me! In my house every little ache,pain,sneeze,bruise,bad mood,extra pound in weight,hyperactivity and the list goes on IS blamed on the steriods regardless if it related or not !!

    I seem to spend my whole life wandering round saying oh its the steroids :-)

  • Im not exactly a doctor, or not even close. But I am on the Symbicort SMART, but my consulant told me to still use my regular blue inhaler whenever needed, and not the symbicort SMART. However, what I like about the symbicort is that i can increase and lower my dose when i feel that my asthma is not under control. So for example when i ahve a chest infection i can take 4 puffs morning and evening rather than two, and if i feel that my asthma is under control i can decrease it down to 1 inhalation morning and night. I like it at least :)

You may also like...