Advair Diskus and Symbicort are very similar medications that can both be prescribed to treat asthma and COPD. They are both combination drugs that contain a long-acting beta agonist and a corticosteroid medication. If you are wondering which might be best for you, the answer is that it varies by person. Read about the differences and similarities between the two drugs and then talk to your doctor about which treatment you should try first.
Although the active ingredients of Symbicort and Advair Diskus are in the same class, they contain different drugs. Symbicort contains budesonide and formoterol while Advair Diskus contains fluticasone and salmeterol. The ingredients work the same, but one combination may be more effective for some patients while the other combination will be better for others.
The main difference between the two is how to use them. Symbicort has a mechanism that helps propel the medication into the lungs while Advair Diskus does not contain a propellant. This can be helpful for those who have trouble inhaling completely. However, the Advair Diskus inhaler does not require hand-breath coordination for proper use while Symbicort does. This can make a difference for those who have trouble inhaling or coordinating their breath with the spray from the inhaler. The other major difference is that Symbicort will take effect more quickly than Advair. Symbicort begins to work about 15 minutes after inhalation while Advair starts working 30 minutes to an hour after inhalation.
These two drugs have similar side effects which include headache, nausea, throat irritation, signs of infection, nervousness, white patches inside the mouth and trouble sleeping. Chances of getting an infection increase with long-term use of any corticosteroid drugs. Also, neither one of these medications is a rescue inhaler. They are both maintenance inhalers which means they are used on a regular basis at regular intervals to be effective. Asthma and COPD patients should have rescue inhalers on hand in the event that an attack should occur.
Prices & Insurance
Advair Diskus costs around $400 for one inhaler that contains a dose size of 250mcg/50mcg. If you require a dose of 500mcg/50mcg, the price is over $500. Symbicort is slightly cheaper at around $340 for the largest dose which is 160mcg/4.5mcg. Usually insurance companies have some preference for which of these drugs they cover. If price is the main issue, find out which drug your insurance covers and how much your copay would be for each one to help make the decision of which to try first. For free coupons for Advair Diskus, Symbicort and other related drugs, search our site.