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. Singulair (Montelukast) has fewer side effects but doesn't work as well as steroid inhalers for asthma. It also helps with allergies.
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.
Singulair (Montelukast) is a leukotriene inhibitor. It lowers inflammation in your lungs and nasal passages to prevent asthma and relieve allergies.
› Singulair (Montelukast) contains aspartame (phenylalanine). People who have phenylketonuria (PKU) can't break down the amino acid phenylalanine. It builds up and causes serious medical problems. If you have PKU, don't use this product.
Kidneys and liver
› 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).
› There are reports of liver injury in people taking Singulair (Montelukast) mostly in combination with other factors such as drugs, alcohol, and liver disease. If you have any of these risk factors, your doctor will need to check your liver function periodically.
› Steroids can slow height growth in kids.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
› 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.
› Prevents symptoms and improves lung function in children and adults with chronic asthma.
› A single 10 mg dose improves exercise-induced asthma symptoms for up to 24 hours.
› Fewer side effects compared to other asthma treatments.
› Also relieves nasal allergy symptoms.
› Effective pill alternative to corticosteroid inhalers.
Downsides and risks
› 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.
› You have to use Montelukast every day to control your symptoms.
› Somewhat less effective than corticosteroid inhalers for asthma.
› There's no generic available, so it can be expensive.
› Can cause behavior changes, agitation, aggression, and difficulty sleeping for some people.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
› 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.
› Take it once a day to control asthma and allergy symptoms.
› If you're using it for asthma or allergies, take it in the evening.
› Use it 2 hours before exercising.
› Granules can be taken by mouth or dissolved in liquid or soft food.
› Doesn't treat sudden wheezing or asthma attacks once they start. Keep a fast-acting (rescue) inhaler with you.
› The chewable tablets contain aspartame, so don't use them if you have a sensitivity to phenylalanine or phenylketones.