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Extra preventer doses with a cold

I have been taking symbicort 200/6 for a number of years now and I've had asthma since I was 3 (i'm now 28) and have always been told to double up the preventer dose when i have a cold.

When I moved doctors because I went to university, I was told by the senior Dr at the practice that there is absolutely no point in doubling up the preventer because by the time it has built up enough most people are well again.

Now I can understand this with a regular preventer only inhaler but is this true when you have a long acting reliever built in like with symbicort?


6 Replies

Symicort can be used as a reliver too under the SMART system so can take a total of up to 12 puffs a day


So basically the doctor was talking out of his behind?!


what I do especially if the cold is affecting my chest as have lower immunity due to no spleen is take extra salbultamol as it works for me. It helps keep my chest less tight. I find it affective.


Hi Moose,

No, your doctor wasn't talking out of his behind ;-)

It always used to be standard advice to ""double up"" on inhaled steroids during a cold, but there is no evidence that it actually helps. The only increase in dose that has been shown to help is a five-fold increase in dose (and for some people on here that is actually not possible to achieve!). Whilst you can take additional puffs of Symbicort on the SMART regime, the only benefit you'll get from that is the ""reliever"" portion of the medication, rather than the steroid part.

Hope that clears it up a bit for you :)



I have always been told to double all my medication and as of Friday last week I was also told when I double my inhalers I also double my singulair and cetrizine as well. One of my inhalers is the purple combined inhaler and at present due to being ill I am on 4x250mg/25mg twice a day which is my recommended maximum dose. This also happens when my son is ill. If it has worked for you in the past then I would continue doing the double dose while ill as the main priority is to make sure if possible your asthma is not affected by being ill


When I saw dr on saturday - different dr who told me not to double up - she was really impressed that I had doubled it up and making use of my reliever.

I suppose it probably is the long acting reliever part of the symbicort inhaler that is helping but as we all know when u having trouble with breathing u do what u can to sort it.

This is the first time I have ever needed steroids in 25yrs of having asthma and although I consider myself extremely lucky to never needed them b4 now, at the same time it does scare me just how much this cold has completely knocked the stuffing out of me - I've had a week off work so far, just got a sick note for another week as breathing still isn't right, i guess it will take time, I just don't want to take any risks :o/

It helps knowing there are people out there who know exactly how I feel!



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