A brief guide on how to use Symbicort inhalers

A medication guide is supplied with a prescription drug and it is very important to understand the same. The user should clear all doubts with his/her health provider and should be clear on how to use the inhaler and handle emergencies. Symbicort is a controller medication and should be continued till the doctor determines if the user’s asthma has come under control. Symbicort inhalers are available in two different strengths: 80/4.5 for asthma treatment and 160/4.5 for COPD. It is recommended for cases where other medicines have failed to give adequate relief and for those aged 12 years and above.

It needs to be primed before using it for the first time, if using it after a week, or if it is dropped. The steps involved are as follows:
– Hold the inhaler in the upright position
– Shake it vigorously for 5 seconds
– Remove the mouthpiece cover by gently pressing at the sides and pulling it out
– Hold the inhaler with the mouthpiece opening away from you and press the canister fully to release a spray
– Shake the inhaler well for 5 seconds and repeat the operation; now the inhaler is ready for use
– Insert the mouthpiece into the mouth with the opening facing the throat.
– Close the lips around the mouthpiece and press the plunger fully down inhaling deeply and holding it down
– Then hold breath for 10 seconds or as long as one can
– Remove the inhaler from the mouth and exhale
– Shake the canister well for 5 seconds and repeat the above for a second dose.

After use, clean the mouthpiece with a tissue and replace in its case. The actuation counter on top of the canister shows the remaining number of inhalations. When the number comes down to 20 or the color on the dial is orange, it is time to get a replacement.

It is important that the prescribed dosage for Symbicort inhalers is strictly adhered to. If one forgets to take one, take it immediately after one remembers provided it is not close to the next dose that is due. One should not overdose to compensate the missed one. Besides Symbicort inhalers, Spiriva inhalers are another popular type of inhalers available.

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