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Dulera vs Symbicort

Drug facts and comparison

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Medically reviewed by  Jamie Winn, PharmD

Dulera

mometasone and formoterol

Symbicort

budesonide and formoterol fumarate dihydrate

Uses

  • Asthma in adults and children aged 12 and over
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  • Treatment of asthma
  • Treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
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Summary

Brand name: Dulera
Brand name: Symbicort
Manufacturer: Merck
Manufacturer: Astra Zeneca
Active ingredient: mometasone and formoterol
Active ingredient: budesonide and formoterol fumarate dihydrate
Indication: Asthma in adults and children aged 12 and over
Indication: Treatment of asthma Treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Side Effects

Most common

  • Stuffy nose
  • Sinus pain
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat

More serious

  • Oral thrush
  • High blood sugar
  • Low potassium levels

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

⦁ Beta-blockers – carteolol, propranolol, timolol

Serious interactions
  • Antiarrhythmics – amiodarone, dronedarone
  • Diuretics – bendroflumethiazide bumetanide, furosemide
  • Antidepressants – citalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine
  • Antipsychotics – clozapine, haloperidol
  • Antibiotics – clarithromycin, erythromycin, ofloxacin
  • Opioids – buprenorphine, methadone
  • Immunosuppressants – fingolimod, siponimod
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 Dulera if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredients mometasone or formoterol
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients found in Symbicort
  • Are under 12 years of age

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

  • Have or have ever had heart problems
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have a lung infection
  • Have problems with your adrenal glands or thyroid
  • Are diabetic
  • Have low levels of potassium in your blood
  • Have an intolerance to any sugars
  • Are pregnant or are breastfeeding

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

Twice daily

2 puffs twice daily

Cost

Dulera inhalation aerosol (5 mcg-100 mcg/inh) will cost around $230

 

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

FAQs

There are many types of long-term asthma medications for controlling and preventing the symptoms of asthma such as breathing problems, shortness of breath, and persistent coughing. No single asthma treatment is best for everyone and what works for one person may not work for another.

Combination inhalers are one of many options available to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These prescription drugs contain an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) and a long-acting beta2 agonist (LABA) classed as LABA/ICS inhalers in fixed doses. Having two medications in one inhaler is often more convenient than having to take two inhalers but fixed doses may limit the ability to deliver high dose inhaled corticosteroids in patients with severe asthma. Combination medications are given through a metered-dose inhaler or a dry powder inhaler, depending on the product you use. We will take a look at two drugs in this category – Dulera and Symbicort – how they compare to one another in terms of uses, common side effects, drug interactions, and more.

What is Dulera?

Dulera is the brand name of a drug containing mometasone furoate, which is the steroid component, and formoterol which is the LABA component of the drug. It is used to treat and prevent the symptoms of asthma in adults and children 5 years and older. It comes in a metered-dose inhaler

What is Symbicort?

Symbicort is the brand name of a drug manufactured by AstraZeneca. It is used to treat asthma and COPD in adults and children 12 years of age and above. Symbicort contains two active ingredients; budesonide and formoterol, and are presented in a metered-dose aerosol inhaler.

How do Symbicort and Dulera work?

Symbicort and Dulera work in the same way but contain different active ingredients. They are classed as combination products containing two different drugs. One drug is an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) commonly referred to as an inhaled steroid. The other drug is a long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) often referred to as a bronchodilator. A corticosteroid works by preventing the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation. LABA’s work by relaxing the muscles around the airways in your lungs and easing breathing. Together they can reduce symptoms such as wheezing and shortness of breath.

The drug combination in Dulera is mometasone /formoterol and comes in three different strengths. The drug combination in Symbicort is budesonide/formoterol and comes in two different strengths.

What conditions do Symbicort and Dulera treat?

Symbicort and Dulera have different FDA-approved uses but both can be used to treat asthma. Dulera can not be used to treat COPD like Symbicort.

Symbicort is approved to treat

  • Asthma in adults and children 6 years of age and older
  • The maintenance treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including chronic bronchitis and emphysema

Symbicort comes in two different strengths:

  • Budesonide 80 micrograms (mcg) / formoterol 4.5 mcg
  • Budesonide 160 mcg / formoterol 4.5 mcg (COPD)

Dulera is approved to treat

  • Asthma in adults and children 5 years of age and older

Dulera comes in three different strengths:

  • Mometasone 50 mcg /5 mcg formoterol (children ages 5 to 11 years)
  • Mometasone 100 mcg /5 mcg formoterol
  • Mometasone 200 mcg /5 mcg formoterol

It is important to note that Dulera and Symbicort are maintenance inhalers and should never be used as rescue inhalers. Your healthcare provider will provide you with a rescue inhaler containing albuterol, a short-acting bronchodilator for worsening symptoms during an asthma attack.

Do Dulera and Symbicort have the same side effects?

Common side effects of Dulera and Symbicort

  • Sinusitis
  • Headache
  • Cold

Common side effects of Symbicort

  • Sore throat

More serious side effects of Dulera and Symbicort

  • Oral thrush
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased risk of infection e.g chickenpox
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts

More serious side effects of Symbicort

  • Increased risk of pneumonia in people with COPD

Dulera and Symbicort can also cause problems if you have certain health issues such as

  • Heart problems
  • Depression (increased risk of cardiovascular effects with some antidepressants)
  • High blood pressure
  • Take diuretic medications
  • Glaucoma
  • Allergies to any drugs

This is not a complete list and medical advice should be taken from your healthcare provider. Always inform your healthcare professional of medications you use, including over-the-counter drugs, herbal products, and supplements. Also, if you have problems inhaling from your device your pharmacist can help you with your technique and may suggest a spacer.

Can you use Dulera or Symbicort while breastfeeding?

Talk to your healthcare provider for medical advice about asthma and COPD treatment options while pregnant and breastfeeding. There has not been sufficient research to suggest that Dulera or Symbicort are safe or harmful during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Can you take Dulera and prednisone together?

Yes. Sometimes it is necessary to use prednisone if your asthma symptoms worsen or you need urgent treatment. A short course of prednisone lasting 5-10 days is typically given after an asthma attack to reduce inflammation in the airways.

What should you avoid while using Dulera?

Do not take Dulera with other medicines that contain a LABA as using too much LABA may cause chest pain, leading to complications. Avoid people who are sick or have infections such as measles because you are prone to catching infections when taking Dulera.

What other ICS/LABA medications are available?

Some other combination products available are Advair HFA and Advair Diskus which contain the ICS fluticasone and the LABA salmeterol. Breo is also available containing the ICS fluticasone with the LABA vilanterol.

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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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