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Symbicort what's is about?

Just been prescribe symbicort. Can anyone tell me more about it? I get that it's

A preventer and reliever all in one thing but previously to now I've been on clenil modulate a brown inhaler which is a corticosteroid I believe. Is the steroid in this the same kjnd or is it more like the dreaded pred which I'm also

On 40mgs for the next 11 days now was supposed to finish tomorrow. Then now I guess I will have to do a tapering dose!

Any one know what it's about? Can't get the prescription filled till tomorrow as it was sent electronically to the store which was shut when I was in my appointment great lol!


5 Replies

So. Symbicort contains budesonide and formeterol. Clenil contains beclamathasone.

Prednisilone, Budesonide and Beclamethasone are all corticosteroids. So all three act to reduce inflammation in the body. The reason Prednisilone is reffered to as 'satans smarties' in my house (and many others) is because it is a tablet. this means the effects are systemic (affect your whole body) and so that leads to all the evil side effects (the majority of the nasty side effects only really tend to occur with long term use!) Both beclamathasone and budesonide are inhaled and so the majority of the effects stay within your lungs, this is good for asthma as its where all the problems are occuring - and means you can have a reasonable dose and its all in your lungs and not really any anywhere else! You can google conversion charts if you really care, however the liklihood is that you will be on roughly an equivalent dose of the two inhaled steroids, so the only real difference will be the formeterol.

Formaterol is a LABA (long-acting-beta-agonist i believe) and so basically it does the same kind of thing as the blue inhaler/sambulatmol/salamol/ventolin whatever you want to call it! Except it works for longer. Most LABAs take a lot longer than salb to kick in, but formeterol is also quick acting which means it can be used as a reliever as well. You will presumably have been told a maximum daily dose of the symbicort? You may find that as you are nearing that dose you will feel very shakey and get palpitations, you might have had similar from using a lot of salb, however the effects of formeterol will last longer! I personally take a combination of beclamethasone and formeterol and find the formeterol a really good medication for me. (if you found the steroid worse, but the LABA better, you can also use Fostair as both a reliever and preventor)

The great thing about symbicort is that when you are worse with your breathing, you will be using it more often, which will mean you are also getting a higher dose of steroid and therefore helping to treat the underlying cause of your symptoms! The one hing to consider is that if you are having particular difficulty breathing the symbicort is a turbohaler which can be tricky to take if you are struggling. if you think this could be a problem for you it may be valuable to continue having the salb inhaler on you when you're out so that if needed you can use that instead!

Hope than makes sense - hard to know what you do or dont know so i hope its clear but not patronising lol!


Hi I was initially prescribed Clenil by my GP but my specialist changed me to Symbicort 400/12. Initially I didn't like it but 5 years on I've gotten used to it now and it works well. In the absence of exacerbations, Symbicort and Montelukast are enough for me to rarely have to use salbutamol.

It's not Pred so don't worry about that.

Hope you feel better soon (hugs)


Thanks for your help guys. Been taking it for a couple of days now and I am not sure if it's just down to it alone or the continued pred but I think I feel better. I have only used 2 puffs of ventolin today :)

I have for the shakes terribly though not sure if that's all the pred or the symbicort as well. Did have the shakes with pred and clenil but not as badly as this... Put some laundry away today and got very frustrated as it took me ages to do up buttons!

Anyone else have this with symbicort? Guess I can put up with the shakes small price to pay for feeling like air is going in!

Thanks x


I've been on Symbicort for 5 years now and it's great.

It feels quite different from Clenil and initially I didn't think it was as effective but I gave it a chance and it has worked well (exacerbations not withstanding)

The main difference is in how you take it as it's a non aerosol formula. Instead of puffing the inhaler you twist the base then suck the dry powder.

It's worth you giving it a try.


Regarding shakes don't take it immediately before or after a caffeinated drink such as coffee, the shakes you get are horrible?


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