Compare Advair vs. Symbicort

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Advair Diskus
(fluticasone / salmeterol)

Symbicort
(budesonide / formoterol)

Prevents breathing problems. Advair Diskus (Fluticasone / Salmeterol) is good for people who need two medicines to control their asthma or COPD, but it might be expensive since there's no generic available.Prevents breathing problems. Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol) is good for people who need two medicines to control their asthma or COPD, but it might be expensive since there's no generic available.
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Coupons for Advair
Best available price for 1 (0.45g of 113mcg/14mcg) respiclick inhaler of fluticasone / salmeterol
Coupons for Symbicort
Best available price for 1 (120 doses of 160mcg/4.5mcg) inhaler of budesonide / formoterol
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.15Advair
Reviews for Advair Diskus (fluticasone / salmeterol)
66%
of people (All ages) say Advair Diskus (fluticasone / salmeterol) is worth it
48%
say it works well
11%
say it's a big hassle
799 reviews
Have you used Advair Diskus (fluticasone / salmeterol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Symbicort (budesonide / formoterol)
58%
-8% worse vs. Advair Diskus (fluticasone / salmeterol)
40%
-8% worse vs. Advair Diskus (fluticasone / salmeterol)
14%
-3% worse vs. Advair Diskus (fluticasone / salmeterol)
394 reviews
Have you used Symbicort (budesonide / formoterol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AdvairSymbicort
  • Lung infection 6%
  • Headaches 4%
  • Candidiasis mouth/throat 9%
  • Throat irritation 1%
  • Viral respiratory infections 3%
  • Hoarseness/dysphonia 5%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Fever 1%
More Advair side effects »
  • Common cold 2%
  • Throat pain 1%
  • Sinus inflammation 1%
  • Flu 2%
  • Back pain 2%
  • Nasal congestion 2%
  • Stomach discomfort 5%
  • Vomiting 2%
More Symbicort side effects »
How it works
AdvairSymbicort
Advair Diskus (Fluticasone / Salmeterol) is a combination medicine. Fluticasone (a corticosteroid) lowers lung inflammation to control asthma and COPD. Salmeterol (a bronchodilator) relaxes muscles in your lungs to open airways and make breathing easier.Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol) is a combination medicine. Budesonide (a corticosteroid) lowers lung inflammation to control asthma and COPD. Formoterol (a bronchodilator) relaxes muscles in your lungs to open airways and make breathing easier.
Type of medication
AdvairSymbicort
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
AdvairSymbicort
  • Inhaler
  • Inhaler
Used for
AdvairSymbicort
Risk factors for serious side effects
AdvairSymbicort
  • Adverse effect of long-acting beta agonist drugs (LABAs), one of the medications in Advair Diskus (Fluticasone / Salmeterol), a combination drug.
  • History of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema
  • Age greater than 65 years
  • Lowering dose or stopping Advair Diskus (Fluticasone / Salmeterol) too quickly especially after long-term treatment
Detailed Advair Diskus (fluticasone / salmeterol) risks & warnings »
  • Adverse effect of long-acting beta agonist drugs (LABAs), one of the medications in Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol), a combination drug.
  • History of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema
  • Age greater than 65 years
  • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
Detailed Symbicort (budesonide / formoterol) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Kidneys and liver
AdvairSymbicort
  • Adrenal suppression can occur if you lower your dose or stop taking Advair Diskus (Fluticasone / Salmeterol) too quickly which is related to one of the medications in the combination. Symptoms include joint or muscle pain, extreme low energy and depression. Changes in your medication need to be done slowly and over time. Talk to your doctor before you decrease or stop Advair Diskus (Fluticasone / Salmeterol).
  • Adrenal suppression can occur if you lower your dose or stop taking Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol) too quickly which is related to one of the medications in the combination. Symptoms include joint or muscle pain, extreme low energy and depression. Changes in your medication need to be done slowly and over time. Talk to your doctor before you decrease or stop Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol).
Weight
AdvairSymbicort
  • Steroids can slow height growth in kids.
  • Steroids can slow height growth in kids.
Upsides and benefits
AdvairSymbicort
  • 2-in-1 medicine that lowers inflammation and opens airways in your lungs. Medicines are more effective together than alone.
  • Makes lung function significantly better.
  • Lowers the number of flare-ups and rescue inhaler uses in asthma and COPD.
  • You only have to use it twice a day.
  • Both the Diskus and inhaler can be used to treat asthma.
  • 2-in-1 medicine that lowers inflammation and opens airways in your lungs. Medicines are more effective together than alone.
  • Makes lung function significantly better.
  • Lowers the number of flare-ups and rescue inhaler uses in asthma and COPD.
  • In studies, shown to improve asthma symptoms, rescue inhaler use, and lung function on the first day.
Downsides and risks
AdvairSymbicort
  • You have to use Advair every day to control your symptoms.
  • You can't lower the dose or stop taking it too suddenly.
  • The HFA inhaler isn't approved to treat COPD.
  • Can make your heart race.
  • Steroids can slow height growth in kids.
  • Because steroids suppress your immune system, you can catch bacterial and viral infections easier, and they can take longer to go away.
  • There have been some reports of worsening asthma leading to death when taking this medicine.
  • You have to use Symbicort twice a day, every day to control your symptoms.
  • You can't lower the dose or stop taking it too suddenly.
  • Lower doses are not as effective for COPD.
  • Can make your heart race.
  • Steroids can slow height growth in kids.
  • Because steroids suppress your immune system, you can catch bacterial and viral infections easier, and they can take longer to go away.
  • There have been some reports of worsening asthma leading to death when taking this medicine.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AdvairSymbicort
  • Lowers inflammation and opens airways to improve breathing.
  • Starts working in about 30 minutes, but it can take 1 to 2 weeks to feel the full effects.
  • Prevents asthma symptoms, but doesn't treat sudden wheezing or asthma attacks once they start.
  • Use inhaler in a level position, and don't breathe out into the device.
  • Rinse your mouth out with water after each use.
  • Shake inhaler for 5 seconds before you use it.
  • Pump the inhaler 4 times before inhaling the first dose, or if it's been more than a month since your last dose.
  • Call 911 or your doctor if it's hard to breathe or you have an asthma attack while on this medication.
  • Diskus contains lactose, so don't use it if you're allergic to milk protein.
  • Lowers inflammation and opens airways to improve breathing.
  • Prevents breathing problems, but doesn't stop sudden cough or wheezing once they start.
  • Starts working in about 30 minutes, but can take 1 to 2 weeks to feel full effects.
  • Use inhaler in a level position, and don't breathe out into the device.
  • Rinse your mouth out with water after each use.
  • Shake inhaler for 5 seconds before you use it.
  • Pump the inhaler 4 times before inhaling the first dose, or if it's been more than a month since your last dose.
  • Call 911 or your doctor if it's hard to breathe, or if you have an asthma attack while taking this medication.
Learn more
More about AdvairSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Advair Diskus (fluticasone / salmeterol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about SymbicortSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Symbicort (budesonide / formoterol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it