Asthma UK community forum

Allergic asthma and symbicort

Hiya all,

just been to at the hospital for tests today. I've had hayfever for 20yrs(I'm 30yrs old) which developed into asthma 11yrs ago but gradually got worse every year. Always been on different antihistamines and nasal sprays, recent inhalers like ventolin, serevent and beclometasone and also singulair.

Had everything tested today including spirometry test and blood test to check the IgE levels.

I then had a long talk with the con who said that I was on the highest dosage of all meds and she didn't want me to be on steroids long term(I agreed). So she wants me to try symbicort smart which sound ok but not sure if a powdery inhaler is as effective as the ventolin?? I've ben using a spacer to to get a better affect of all my inhalers(I'm very good with the technique just didnt seem to be affective without spacer anymore recently).

Has anyone switched over to symbicort who could tell me about their experience?

I have to try symbicort until my next consultation in august and I'll find out then if my IgE levels allow me a so called ""costly but maybe effective treatment"" as a last resort.

I'm a bit confused as the symbicort might hopefully help with the allergic asthma(tree&grass pollen, pets) yet it won't help my allergies which are the source of problem, so how should it help?

Sorry, I hope all this is not too confusing.

Thanks in advance

love Lydia xx

10 Replies

Hi Lydia,

I was on symbicort for a while and it wasn't the best for me, didn't do very much and made me sick every time I took it. I think it was something to do with the propellant that is in it. I got changed to Seratide which you can do the smart system as well with. I think the idea behind the smart system is there is a long acting bronchodialator in there and a steroid- a bit like when you go into hospital and they add that into a ventolin neb to keep your airways open for longer.

At the moment my ige levels are insane so no hope for an expensive but effective treatment.....! I'm hoping perhaps in a few months they will go down but who knows. Anyway now i'm not allowed to touch the mattress, and have to wet dust plus have to be really careful with pollen.

Hope you get better soon, and that your IGE says your eligible for what I assume will be xolair.


I use symbicort for steriod aspect. I prefer it. Get better results than becotide and seretide. As how it works as a smart inhaler I can't say. IncreAsing the use of symbicort will increase the steriod which hopefully will have a positive effect on your lungs.


Hi, I'm on Symbicort as SMART. Its the best for me so far. Taking since November.

In the very very extreme weather, my doc put me back onto using ventolin as a reliever - Despite my Asthma Plan suggesting I take up to 4 doses a day, I find taking more than two puffs twice a day of the Symbicort makes me feel like I have a cold cos nose gets very blocked up and my voice sounds hoarse even with gargling fresh water after every puff. You get fed up with folk asking if you've got a cold.

Better weather on the way, hopefully, means I can go back to using Symbicort as both preventer and reliever - SMART.

Symbicort is by far the easiest inhaler to use. You just twist the bottom of the tube and its ready. Twisting it more times if you haven't taken a puff still only delivers one dose. Clever stuff.

Its been suggested by my asthma nurse that I have allergic asthma but so far, touch wood, no need to see any consultant yet. Was getting near it, till Symbicort suggested.

Hope it is good for you too, Lydia.

Take care and best wishes,



Lydia, just give it go, you have nothing to lose. Ventolin may be used on top as required. I am on permanent high dose steriods, the max of Symbicort and use Ventolin every day. If long term oral steriods do become the only choice the future, don't be too afraid to give them a go. Of course they have their issues, but doesn't everything. If you need to chat on a personal level free to pm me, because be there done that sort of thing.

Wishing you the best of luck with the summer, a tish oo, whoops must reach for the tissues again.



Hi Lydia,

Like Katina said, you've got nothing to lose. I'm on the SMART programme, but still use ventolin regularly when I feel that would be a better option (especially for anything sport related). I was pleased to be able to up my inhaled steroid dose in the hope of less pred courses. So far it's going well, but I take 400/12 two puffs twice a day, before adding any reliever, which was prescribed at that higher dose by a consultant. I tried to halve it recently, and all went well for 2 weeks, and then I started dropping. Unfortunately the steroid component only has half the potency of the Seretide steroid component, so you may feel your dose is higher than you expected.

Ask very specifically when you should be using symbicort over ventolin. For example, no one told me that it's not designed for exercise induced symptoms, but I queried that on these forums, and was told I was right to think it shouldn't be used for this. I may have not been told other helpful things, I suppose, when I was given it.

I have to say that personally, in a nose dive situation, I would rely on ventolin more than symbicort or others.

Good luck.


Symbicort didn't work out well for me, personally and so I and my GP agreed to switch me back to Clenil (even if my asthma isn't well-managed at the moment, it's more effective for *my case* than the symbicort). Although I had tremors and palpitations as side-effects those are apparently not a common reaction. I'd definately agree with the others that trying it is certainly worthwhile, there are quite a few folks on here who find it the best inhaler they've tried.

The main thing to remember is to make darned sure that you are fully informed and make sure that you have all of the information you need, you know your asthma better than anyone else, so don't let a fear of seeming nosy in front of the consultant keep you from making sure that they know full well everything that you need it (or it combined with other drugs) to do. Although given how you've much more history at this than I, I guess I'm just teaching you to suck eggs here!


Thank you for all your helpful answers everyone. I've seen my brilliant asthma nurse today, she spent 45mins with me going through the new asthma plan-bless her. I'm still a bit concerned about the switch over especially about the reliver aspect but will definately give it a go. It's interesting to hear that some of you still use the ventolin on bad days. Maybe I should still have the ventolin on me for emergencies . Been coughing a lot more today but don't know if it's because of new meds or higher tree pollen count. Thank you all for your help:-)

love Lydia x


Not convinced so far :-(

Well, it's my 5th day on symbicort smart and it hasn't been good so far. Struggeling to breathe 2 out of 5 nights and today has been a struggle throughout the day so I had a telephone consultation with my doc on the phone earlier and I've got to take the ventolin if required. Bad hayfever day today and been around cats so I know what the trigger was.

Will keep trying the symbicort as I guess it'll take some time to kick in anyway.

I just hate asthma and want to be running about like I used to:-(

hope you're all doing ok.

Love Lydia xx



i Symbicort 400/13 twice a day and upto 8 doses through out the day. it has made a big difference to my life, but I still take Ventolin on many occasions. I also take the max dose of Qvar, max dose of antihistimines, over the counter histimines, singulair and medication for Gerd.

I have also made a gret deal of changes in my life style, I am due to see the hospsital Asthma Nurse in Aug for tests, so will keep you informed.



Thanx rose,

I should've mentioned in here that I only lasted 2 weeks in symbicort as asthma really deteriorated and been put back onto my old regime as well a uniphyllin an steroids for now.

Symbicort didn't do it for me but I'm glad it works for you and many others:-)

take care

love Lydia x


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