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Breo Ellipta vs Symbicort

Drug facts and comparison

✅
Medically reviewed by  Jamie Winn, PharmD

Breo

fluticasone

Symbicort

budesonide and formoterol fumarate dihydrate

Uses

  • Treatment of asthma
  • Treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Get Breo Ellipta for only
$49 per month
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  • Treatment of asthma
  • Treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Get Symbicort for only
$49 per month
Get started

Summary

Brand name: Breo Ellipta
Brand name: Symbicort
Manufacturer: GlaxoSmithKline
Manufacturer: Astra Zeneca
Active ingredient: fluticasone
Active ingredient: budesonide and formoterol fumarate dihydrate
Indication: Treatment of asthma Treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Indication: Treatment of asthma Treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Side Effects

Most common

  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Bronchitis
  • Colds
  • Influenza
  • Fever
  • Sinusitis
  • Coughs
  • Sore throat and throat pain
  • Oral thrush infections
  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • High blood pressure

More serious

  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Immediate breathing difficulties
  • Pneumonia

Most common

  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Hoarse voice
  • Back pain
  • Fast heartbeat

More serious

  • Reduced immune system function
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Swelling of your blood vessels
  • Increases in blood sugar levels (diabetes)
  • Decreases in blood potassium levels (hypokalemia)

Drug Interactions

Severe interactions
  • Antifungals – ketoconazole, itraconazole
  • Antivirals – ritonavir, nelfinavir
  • Beta-blockers – labetalol, propranolol, sotalol
Serious interactions
  • Treatments for an irregular heartbeat – amiodarone, dronedarone, disopyramide
  • Diuretics – bendroflumethiazide, furosemide
  • Antidepressants – citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline
  • Antipsychotics – clozapine, haloperidol
  • Tricyclic antidepressants – clomipramine, desipramine, imipramine
  • Immunosuppressants – fingolimod, siponimod
  • Opioids – buprenorphine, methadone
  • Antibiotics – erythromycin, ofloxacin
  • Insulin
Moderate interactions
  • Corticosteroids – betamethasone, cortisone, dexamethasone, prednisolone
Severe interactions
  • Beta-blockers – labetalol, sotalol, timolol
  • Antibiotics – clarithromycin, telithromycin
  • TNF blockers – etanercept
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs – leflunomide, teriflunomide
Serious interactions
  • Treatments for an irregular heartbeat – amiodarone, dronedarone, disopyramide
  • Diuretics – bendroflumethiazide, furosemide
  • Antidepressants – citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline
  • ACE inhibitors – captopril, enalapril, ramipril
  • NSAIDs – ibuprofen, meloxicam, naproxen
  • Antipsychotics – clozapine, haloperidol
Moderate interactions
  • Corticosteroids – beclomethasone, betamethasone, fludrocortisone, prednisolone

Warnings

You should not use Breo Ellipta if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredients fluticasone furoate or vilanterol
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Breo Ellipta
  • Have a severe allergy to milk proteins
  • Are under 18 years of age

You should talk to your doctor before using Breo Ellipta if you:

  • Have any heart problems
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have any immune system problems
  • Have an active viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection
  • Have been exposed to measles or chickenpox
  • Suffer from seizures
  • Have any thyroid problems
  • Have diabetes
  • Have any liver problems
  • Have osteoporosis
  • Have any eye problems, such as glaucoma, cataracts, or increased pressure in your eye
  • Are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed

You should not use Symbicort if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredients budesonide or formoterol fumarate dihydrate
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients found in Symbicort
  • Are under 12 years of age (for treating asthma)
  • Are under 18 years of age (for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

You should talk to your doctor before using Symbicort if you:

  • Are diabetic
  • Have a lung infection
  • Have severe liver problems
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have or have had any heart problems, like narrowing of the arteries, an uneven heartbeat, or heart failure
  • Have problems with your adrenal glands or thyroid
  • Have low levels of potassium in your blood
  • Have an intolerance to any sugars
  • Are pregnant or are breastfeeding

Dosage

1 puff once daily

2 puffs twice daily

Cost

1, 60 dose inhaler will cost around $480

1 inhalation aerosol (160 mcg-4.5 mcg/inh) 120 doses will cost around $280

FAQs

Breo Ellipta and Symbicort are brand names for prescription drugs used for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Breo Ellipta and Symbicort are not fast-acting medications and will not replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing issues. Examples of rescue inhalers include albuterol (Ventolin HFA, ProAir) and levalbuterol (Xopenex). Here we explain how they work, their similarities and differences, their side effects, and more. This should provide you with the basics to better understand your options.

What is Breo Ellipta?

Breo Ellipta is an FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved medication manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Breo Ellipta is for adults to manage exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. It’s inhaled directly into your lungs and airways using a Breo Ellipta inhaler.

Breo Ellipta is used every day to open up your airways and make it easier to breathe, providing relief from COPD symptoms and asthma. It also reduces the chances and severity of sudden onset of severe symptoms, like asthma attacks.

Breo Ellipta contains two active ingredients, fluticasone furoate, and vilanterol. They work together to provide relief from COPD and reduce your chances of having an asthma attack. When taken regularly, Breo Ellipta can ease COPD and asthma symptoms, and reduce the number and severity of asthma attacks

Breo Ellipta dosage

Breo Ellipta is available as a Breo comes as a dry powder inhaler. The inhaler contains 2 foil blister strips of powder formulation for oral inhalation. One strip contains fluticasone furoate 100 or 200 mcg per blister and the other contains vilanterol 25 mcg per blister.

For the maintenance treatment of COPD use 1 inhalation of Breo Ellipta 100/25 once daily. For asthma use, 1 inhalation of Breo Ellipta 100/25 or 200/25 once daily. Breo Ellipta is a once-daily medication used to treat various respiratory issues, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Breo is not a rescue inhaler and should not be used in cases of sudden breathing problems.

Please read the prescribing information provided with your medication and always speak with your healthcare provider about any changes to your dose so they can monitor and evaluate your condition.

What is Symbicort?

Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol) is an FDA-approved medication manufactured by AstraZeneca used to treat asthma in adults and children aged 12 and over, as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adults. The medication comes as a dry powder which is inhaled using an inhaler device called a Turbohaler. You usually take the medicine once a day to prevent symptoms from occurring. It can be taken as a preventative measure before an activity that causes you breathing problems, such as before sport. If you have a sudden attack of symptoms, you should use a relief inhaler, rather than Symbicort.

Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the lungs and airways; it can cause your chest to tighten and make it difficult to breathe. COPD is a condition that also affects the lungs and makes it hard to breathe. Symbicort assists with both of these conditions by reducing inflammation and by relaxing the muscles in the lungs and airways. This helps to reduce the feeling of tightening in your chest and makes it easier for you to breathe.

Symbicort has two active ingredients: budesonide and formoterol fumarate dihydrate. Formoterol fumarate dihydrate is a long-acting beta-agonist, and a bronchodilator, and relaxes the muscles in your airways, making it easier to breathe. Budesonide is an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) that reduces inflammation in the lungs. When both are used in combination, they reduce the incidence of asthma symptoms and can help manage the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Symbicort dosage

Symbicort is available as a metered-dose inhaler in the following doses: 80 mcg/4.5 mcg per actuation, 160 mcg/4.5 mcg per actuation.

Common side effects of Breo Ellipta and Symbicort

The most common side effects of Breo Ellipta in clinical trials include:

  • Upper respiratory tract infections, bronchitis
  • Influenza
  • Fever, headaches
  • Sinusitis
  • A sore throat, throat pain, cough
  • Oral thrush (candidiasis) infections
  • Back pain, joint pain
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)

More serious side effects of Breo Ellipta include

  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Immediate breathing difficulties
  • Pneumonia

The most common side effects of Symbicort in clinical trials include:

  • Mild sore throat and coughing
  • Headaches
  • Trembling and shaking
  • Pneumonia
  • Thrush infections

More serious side effects of Symbicort include

  • Disturbed sleep
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Muscle cramps
  • Blurred vision

These aren’t all the side effects Breo Ellipta or Symbicort can cause. You can find more details in the patient leaflet that comes with your medication. If you have any concerns about side effects, talk to a healthcare professional.

Breo Ellipta and Symbicort drug interactions

Breo Ellipta can interact with other medications. These include:

  • Other medicines that contain a LABA (beta2-adrenergic agonist)
  • Beta-blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Strong cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors, like ketoconazole
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

Symbicort can interact with other medications. These include:

  • Other medications to treat asthma or other breathing problems
  • Beta-blockers
  • Medications for a fast or uneven heartbeat
  • Medications to treat heart failure, like digoxin
  • Diuretics
  • Steroids taken orally
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • HIV-protease inhibitors
  • Medications for thyroid problems
  • Medications to treat Parkinson’s disease

Breo Ellipta and Symbicort can interact with other medications. This can change how Breo Ellipta and Symbicort and other medications work and can make side effects more likely. Tell your prescribing physician about all your drugs, including vitamins and dietary supplements.

Breo Ellipta and Symbicort contraindications

You should not use Breo Ellipta if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredients fluticasone furoate or vilanterol
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Breo Ellipta
  • Have a severe allergy to milk proteins
  • Are under 18 years of age

Talk to your doctor before using Breo Ellipta if you:

  • Have any heart problems
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have any immune system problems
  • Have a current viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection
  • Have been exposed to measles or chickenpox
  • Suffer from seizures
  • Have any thyroid problems
  • Have diabetes or high blood sugar
  • Have any liver problems
  • Have osteoporosis
  • Have any eye problems, like glaucoma, cataracts, or increased pressure in your eye
  • Are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed

You should not use Symbicort if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredients budesonide or formoterol fumarate dihydrate
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients found in Symbicort (listed in the leaflet which comes with the medication)
  • Are under 12 years of age (for treating asthma)
  • Are under 18 years of age (for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

Talk to your doctor before using Symbicort if you:

  • Are diabetic
  • Have a lung infection
  • Have severe liver problems
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have or have had any heart problems, like narrowing of the arteries, an uneven heartbeat, or heart failure
  • Have problems with your adrenal glands or thyroid
  • Have low levels of potassium in your blood
  • Have an intolerance to any sugars
  • Are pregnant or are breastfeeding

Other drugs for Asthma or COPD

If you have any concerns about Breo Ellipta or Symbicort side effects, talk to your physician, or pharmacist for medical advice. Also inform your healthcare provider about any medical conditions, supplements, and over-the-counter meds you are taking. You are also encouraged to report side effects to the FDA: visit http://www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.
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