Compare Symbicort vs. Flovent

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

Symbicort
(Budesonide / Formoterol)

Flovent Diskus
(Fluticasone)

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.Prevents breathing problems. Flovent Diskus (Fluticasone) is good at controlling and preventing asthma symptoms when you take it every day.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.628272251308901Symbicort
Reviews for Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol)
57%
of people say Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol) is worth it
39%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Flovent Diskus (Fluticasone)
68%
+11% vs. Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol)
39%
Same vs. Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol)
9%
+6% vs. Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol)
Side effects
SymbicortFlovent
  • Stomach discomfort 5%
  • Oral candidiasis 4%
  • Headache 4%
  • Throat pain 4%
  • Lung infection 3%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 3%
  • Common cold 2%
  • Flu 2%
  • Nasal congestion 2%
  • Vomiting 2%
More Symbicort side effects »
  • Throat irritation 14%
  • Bronchitis 7%
  • Headache 7%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 5%
  • Sinusitis/sinus infection 4%
  • Viral gastrointestinal infection 4%
  • Muscle injury 4%
  • Nausea and vomiting 4%
  • Fever 3%
  • Viral infection 3%
More Flovent side effects »
How it works
SymbicortFlovent
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.Flovent Diskus (Fluticasone) is a corticosteroid. It lowers inflammation in your lungs, which controls asthma and prevents asthma attacks.
Type of medication
SymbicortFlovent
Anti-inflammatory
Corticosteroid
Bronchodilator
Long-acting bronchodilator
Prescription only
Anti-inflammatory
Corticosteroid
Prescription only
Available as
SymbicortFlovent
  • Inhaler
  • Inhaler
Used for (click to learn more)
SymbicortFlovent
Risk factors for serious side effects
SymbicortFlovent
  • 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
  • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
  • Not rinsing mouth after use
  • Higher dose of the corticosteroid medication contained in Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol)
  • Adverse effect of long-acting beta agonist drugs (LABAs) found in Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol), a combination medication.
  • History of arrhythmia, hypertension or heart failure
Detailed Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol) risks & warnings »
  • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
  • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
  • Severe milk protein allergy
  • Bacterial or viral infection not being treated
  • Long-term treatment with Flovent Diskus (Fluticasone)
  • Not vaccinated against chickenpox or measles
    • Dose of Flovent Diskus (Fluticasone)
    • Duration of treatment
    • Not rinsing mouth after use
    • Using higher dose of Flovent Diskus (Fluticasone)
    • History of high internal eye pressure
    • History of cataracts
    • History of glaucoma
    Detailed Flovent Diskus (Fluticasone) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    SymbicortFlovent
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    Food
    No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    Sex
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    Sleep
    • Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol) may increase blood pressure and heart rate, especially if you already have these conditions. These symptoms are related to one of the medications in this product so don't change or increase your dose without talking to your doctor first. Tell your doctor if you develop dizziness, tremor, nausea, rapid heartbeat, become very tired or have difficulty sleeping while taking Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol), you may need to change or stop this medication.
    No specific sleep-related info.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    SymbicortFlovent
    • 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.
    • Relieves symptoms and improves control of asthma.
    • People report fewer asthma symptoms and better lung function when they take it every day.
    • Inhaling this medicine (rather than taking an oral steroid) gets more into the lungs and less into rest of your body, which lowers the risk of side effects. Inhaled corticosteroids can be used safely for years compared to oral corticosteroids like prednisone.
    • Available as both an inhaler and Diskus device.
    Downsides and risks
    SymbicortFlovent
    • You have to use Symbicort twice a day, every day to control your symptoms.
    • Lower doses are not as effective for COPD.
    • Can make your heart race.
    • There have been some reports of worsening asthma leading to death when taking this medicine.
    • You can't lower the dose or stop taking it too suddenly.
    • 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.
    • You have to use Fluticasone every day to control your symptoms.
    • Can cause new or worsening eye pressure, glaucoma, and cataracts.
    • You can't lower the dose or stop taking it too suddenly.
    • 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.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    SymbicortFlovent
    • 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.
    • Use it every day to control your asthma symptoms.
    • Can take 2 weeks or more to feel full effects.
    • Pump the inhaler 4 times before your first dose, or if it's been more than 7 days since your last dose.
    • Wait at least 1 minute between doses.
    • Rinse your out mouth with water after each use.
    • Hold your breath for 10 seconds after using Advair Diskus.
    • Don't breathe out into the inhaler mouthpiece.
    • Tell your doctor if the medication stops working or if your symptoms get worse.
    • Diskus contains lactose, so don't use it if you're allergic to milk protein.
    Learn more
    More about SymbicortSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about FloventSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert