Asthma UK community forum

Becotide and serevent vs seretide and symbicort

Just wondered if anyone new much about all of these. I used to be on becotide and serevent a couple of years ago and don't recall having any complaints with it but was then put on symbicort which was ok but made me shake a lot. I then moved house and doctors and saw the asthma nurse there who said they didn't like their patients being on symbicort so they put me on seretide. With in a month I had my first really bad attack and ended up in hospital then a couple of months later the same happened again. I was convinced it was the change in meds so went back and asked to be put back onto becotide and serevent but was told no and that I could go back onto symbicort. Ive been on that for about 6 months but couldn't stand the shaking that follows on after taking it so eventually I saw a new asthma nurse today and explained all of this to her and she basically asked me what inhalers I wanted so asked for becotide and serevent which she has given me. I just wondered if it makes a diff tking the inhalers seperately as opposed to a combined inhaler and am I going to have the same side effects


2 Replies

There have been studies dedicated to looking at exactly this issue, and the answer seems to be: no, there is no difference.

Both Symbicort and Seretide are combination inhalers, i.e. they contain a steroid and a long-acting beta-2 agonist (a preventer and a protector). Symbicort is budesonide (Pulmicort) and fomoterol (Oxis), whereas Seretide is fluticasone (Flixotide) and salmetarol (Serevent).

Studies into taking either combination or separate inhalers show that there is no difference on asthma control.

I guess that the reason you got more shaking on the Symbicort may be the formoterol. Just like some people shake on Ventolin (salbutamol) but not on Bricanyl (terbutaline), some people find a difference in side effects between the two long-acting beta agonists, i.e. salmetarol and formoterol.

Personally, both for my own asthma control and for prescribing for patients, I prefer to have separate inhalers, particularly when trying to gain control of asthma, as it allows more flexibility in ""stepping up"" and ""stepping down"" treatment levels. If someone is stable and unlikely to change medication then a combination inhaler can be less hassle and less ""puffs"" morning and night!

I think that, if you feel you are better controlled on becotide and serevent, then you stick to what controls your asthma the best - there is no particular reason why you should have to use a combination inhaler.


Hi there Smithy,

I used to be on flixotide and serevent, but got taken off them about 4 years ago, as they were worried that i had too muich flexibility to step the flixotide up or down which was affeting my asthma control, and also i coudln't alwasy be botehred to take so many puffs. HAvint said that I've been on seretide since, slowly but surely moving up to the max dose, anxd am still not controlled, so not sure of the benefit at all!!

Hoep that teh seperates works for you and you can get controlled again soon.

Cal xxxxxxxxxxx


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