Precautions and Warnings With Budesonide and Formoterol
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with budesonide and formoterol include the following:
- Long-acting beta agonists (such as formoterol) increase the risk of asthma-related deaths. This medication should not be started in people whose asthma is becoming significantly worse, or in emergency situations, as this may increase the risk of death. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if your asthma symptoms become worse during treatment with budesonide and formoterol.
- Individuals whose asthma can be adequately controlled without a long-acting beta agonist should not take this medication, due to the risks. If you must take this medication, once your asthma is under control your healthcare provider should see if you can gradually stop taking this medication (or any other long-acting beta agonist) without causing a worsening of your asthma.
- Budesonide and formoterol is not a fast-acting asthma medication and cannot replace fast-acting rescue inhalers. Do not use budesonide and formoterol to treat an asthma attack. Everyone taking the medication should also have a rescue medication available at all times. Let your healthcare provider know if you need to use your rescue inhaler more frequently than usual, as this may be a sign of worsening asthma.
- Do not take budesonide and formoterol more frequently than prescribed, as this may increase your risk of side effects.
- People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be particularly susceptible to lung infections, such as pneumonia. It has been reported that inhaled steroids (like budesonide) might increase the risk of lung infections.
- Budesonide and formoterol can have a stimulatory effect on the heart and blood pressure. Fast heart rate (tachycardia), high blood pressure (hypertension), and irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) may occur, although low blood pressure (hypotension) is also possible. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, make sure your healthcare provider is aware of it. He or she may wish to use particular caution when recommending budesonide and formoterol in your case.
- People with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes, osteoporosis, or epilepsy should use caution when using budesonide and formoterol as the drug may worsen these conditions or increase the risk of side effects.
- Budesonide and formoterol contains a steroid and may suppress the immune system. Although this is more likely to occur with oral steroids, it is still possible with inhaled steroids (such as budesonide and formoterol). You may be at higher risk for infections. Certain infections (such as chickenpox or the measles) may be more dangerous if you are taking budesonide and formoterol. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you are exposed to chickenpox or the measles (if you have not had these infections and have not been vaccinated against them).
- Budesonide and formoterol should not be used to switch from oral to inhaled steroids.
- Budesonide and formoterol can interact with other medications (see Drug Interactions With Budesonide and Formoterol).
- Budesonide and formoterol is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using budesonide and formoterol during pregnancy (see Symbicort and Pregnancy for more information).
- Budesonide and formoterol passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using budesonide and formoterol (see Symbicort and Breastfeeding for more information).