Compare Atrovent vs. Symbicort

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


(budesonide / formoterol)

Coming soon.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 Atrovent
Best available price for 15 (15ml of 0.06%) nasal sprays of ipratropium
Coupons for Symbicort
Best available price for 10.2 (120 doses of 160mcg/4.5mcg) inhalers of symbicort
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Atrovent (ipratropium)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Symbicort
+17% better vs. Atrovent
+35% better vs. Atrovent
+14% better vs. Atrovent
394 reviews
Have you used Symbicort (budesonide / formoterol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects

We haven’t found good data for Atrovent side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Atrovent »
  • 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
Coming soon.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
Prescription only
Available as
  • Inhaler
  • Inhaler
Used for
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Nasal Discharge
Risk factors for serious side effects
    Coming soon.
    • 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 »

    Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    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
    No kidneys and liver related info.
    • 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).
    No weight related info.
    • Steroids can slow height growth in kids.
    Upsides and benefits
    Coming soon
    • 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
    Coming soon
    • 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
    Coming soon
    • 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 AtroventSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Atrovent (ipratropium)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about SymbicortSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Symbicort (budesonide / formoterol)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it