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Unopened Symbicort Turbuhaler (left) and opened (middle and right)

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Budesonide/formoterol is a combination formulation containing budesonide and formoterol used in the management of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the EU. It is marketed by AstraZeneca under the trade name Symbicort. Symbicort in the United States is a pressurized metered-dose inhaler while in the EU and Canada, Symbicort is available as a dry-powder inhaler.

Symbicort contains two active ingredients which are delivered via a single inhaler:

In Europe, Symbicort is available in three doses of 100/6, 200/6 and 400/12, where the larger number is the dose per actuation of budesonide (in micrograms) and the lower number the dose of formoterol. In the United States, Symbicort is available in 160/4.5mcg and 80/4.5mcg per actuation. Symbicort was introduced in Sweden in 2000 and is approved for use in at least 70 countries, yielding global sales in excess of $1 billion in 2005. It was not approved for use in the United States until July 2006.[1]

Symbicort is the first combination inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting beta agonist (ICS/LABA) that has shown some efficacy as a medicine not only used to prevent asthma attacks, but also provide quick relief of an asthma attack.[2][3] The use for quick relief has been approved by the GINA guidelines 2006 (Evidence A) however Symbicort is indicated in the United States only as a maintenance medication.


  • "Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol) - Inhaled corticosteroid for maintenance treatment of asthma". AstraZeneca Respiratory Products. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. 2006.


  1. Haber, Gary (November 19, 2006). "AstraZeneca banking on asthma inhaler". Delaware News-Journal (delawareonline).
  2. Balanag, VM (2006). "Efficacy and safety of budesonide/formoterol compared with salbutamol in the treatment of acute asthma". Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 19 (2): 139&ndash, 147. doi:10.1016/j.pupt.2005.04.009. PMID 16009588. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  3. Vogelmeier, C (2005). "Budesonide/formoterol maintenance and reliever therapy: an effective asthma treatment option?". European Respiratory Journal. 26 (5): 819&ndash, 828. PMID 16264042. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)

See also

External links

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