Budesonide and formoterol is a combination drug that is licensed for the treatment of COPD in adults and asthma in adults and children. Although the medication cannot cure asthma, it can be taken to help prevent asthma attacks from occurring. Budesonide and formoterol, which comes in an inhaler and is available by prescription, is typically used twice a day with 12 hours between doses. Potential side effects of the medicine include irritated or runny nose, sore throat, and headache.
The medication contains two different drug components: budesonide and formoterol. Formoterol is part of a class of drugs called beta-adrenergic receptor agonists, or beta agonists for short. Beta agonists stimulate beta receptors in the body, including those on the muscles around airways. This stimulation causes the muscles to relax, which opens up the airways and allows more air to get into and through the lungs.
The other component is budesonide, an asthma medication that belongs to a group of drugs called inhaled corticosteroids, or steroids for short. Inhaled steroids go directly into the lungs and help to decrease the inflammation of airways that makes asthma attacks more likely.
Because the combination medicine does not work quickly, it should not be used for treating an asthma attack. Rather, it is used twice a day in order to prevent asthma attacks.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
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Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed April 26, 2007.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed April 26, 2007.
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