Breo Ellipta vs Symbicort - Comparison of Uses & Side Effects 

Breo Ellipta

It is the brand name of a combination of fluticasone and vilanterol.

Vilanterol trifenatate belongs to a group of drugs called bronchodilators that relax the muscles of the small air passages in the lungs. When taken regularly, vilanterol helps the small air passages to remain open.

Fluticasone furoate belongs to a group of drugs called corticosteroids, that are used to reduce inflammation in the small air passages in the lungs. When taken regularly, it eases breathing problems and prevents asthma attacks.

Uses

It is used in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma to improve symptoms and prevent bronchospasm or asthma attacks.

Note – it should only be used in patients whose asthma is not well controlled using inhaled corticosteroids.

Dosage

To prevent symptoms of the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the usual recommended dose is one inhalation once per day from the 100 µg/25 µg inhaler.

To treat asthma, the usual recommended dose is one inhalation once per day from either the 200/25 µg inhaler or the 100 µg/25 µg inhaler.

Note – rinse with water after using your inhaler to reduce the chance of developing a yeast infection in the mouth.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • flu symptoms;
  • joint pain;
  • a sore throat;
  • back pain;
  • runny or stuffy nose;
  • headaches;
  • a hoarse voice;
  • fever.

Rare side effects may include:

  • breathing problems after using the medication;
  • chest pain;
  • a feeling like you might pass out;
  • anxiety;
  • pain when swallowing;
  • pounding in your neck or ears;
  • white patches in your mouth and throat;
  • fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • a cough with yellow or green mucus;
  • vomiting;
  • seeing halos around lights;
  • feeling very weak or tired;
  • eye pain;
  • tunnel vision;
  • blurred vision.

Pregnancy & Breastfeedingpregnant

It is not exactly known whether this medication passes into breast milk or if it could negatively affect the infant. Tell your healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Additionally, it is not known exactly whether the medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • medicines to treat HIV or AIDS;
  • an antifungal medication;
  • an antibiotic;
  • an MAO inhibitor, such as – linezolid, isocarboxazid, rasagiline, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine;
  • a beta-blocker, such as – carvedilol, atenolol, nadolol, metoprolol, or sotalol;
  • a diuretic or water pill;
  • an antidepressant.

Symbicortdrug

It is a combination of two drugs (formoterol and budesonide) that works well for people with worsening asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Budesonide is a synthetic corticosteroid that can help to reduce the amount of swelling in the airways. Formoterol is a long-acting beta-agonist bronchodilator which works by relaxing the muscles that surround the airways.

It is produced by AstraZeneca, a multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company. The US Food and Drug Administration originally approved this medication in 2006.

Uses

The medication is used to help manage the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.

Dosage

It should be administered as 2 inhalations twice daily, about 12 hours apart. The dose should be titrated to the lowest dose at which effective control of symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma is maintained.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • a cough;
  • chills;
  • problems breathing;
  • body aches or pain;
  • fever (high temperature);
  • ear congestion;
  • sneezing;
  • muscle aches;
  • diarrhea;
  • headaches;
  • a sore throat;
  • bladder pain;
  • tightness in the chest.

Less common side effects may include:

  • congestion;
  • unusual tiredness or weakness;
  • cough producing mucus;
  • tenderness around the cheekbones and eyes;
  • a general feeling of illness;
  • bloody urine;
  • racing heartbeat or pulse;
  • loss of voice;
  • shakiness in the arms, legs, hands, or feet;
  • joint pain;
  • frequent urge to urinate;
  • lower back or side pain;
  • trembling of the hands or feet;
  • noisy breathing;
  • swollen glands in the neck;
  • painful urination;
  • white patches in the mouth or on the tongue;
  • dryness of the throat;
  • sore mouth or tongue;
  • stomach pain.

You should not take the medication if you:

  • take thioridazine (Mellaril);
  • have a worsening of your COPD flare-ups;
  • feel your airway suddenly tighten;
  • have asthma which doesn’t respond to inhalers;
  • are allergic to the active ingredients in this medication.

Alcohol

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking the medication because alcohol may increase the risk of side effects, such as – dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and dry mouth.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • Sotalol (a medication that is used to treat abnormal heart rhythms);
  • boniva (a potent bisphosphonate drug);
  • LABAs, such as – formoterol (Foradil, Perforomist) or arformoterol (Brovana);
  • Boceprevir (Victrelis);
  • prolia;
  • Linezolid (an antibiotic which is used for the treatment of infections caused by Gram-positive bacteria);
  • HIV/AIDS medications, such as – lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra) or ritonavir (Norvir).

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Since doctors are not certain whether or not the medication is safe to use while breastfeeding, talk with your healthcare provider about other treatment options.

Additionally, tell your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant since the effects on a developing baby have not been well studied in humans.

Bottom Line – Breo Ellipta vs Symbicort

Breo Ellipta (active ingredients – fluticasone and vilanterol) is a prescription medicine which is used to improve symptoms of the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a group of diseases which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Note – do not use the medication to relieve sudden breathing problems.

Symbicort (active ingredient – formoterol and budesonide) is inhaled into the lungs for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma.

Note – it should be used only if your healthcare provider decides that your asthma is not well controlled with an inhaled corticosteroid.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK409763/
https://nz.gsk.com/en-nz/media/press-releases/2017/breo-ellipta-significantly

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