Symbicort Rapihaler (budesonide–formoterol) puffer

For people 12 years and over

Symbicort Rapihaler 50 3

Symbicort Rapihaler 100 3

Signs that someone is having an asthma attack

Shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness or wheezing

Not sure it’s asthma?

If a person stays conscious and their main problem seems to be breathing, give Symbicort. This medicine is unlikely to harm them even if they do not have asthma.

If someone is unconscious, follow the DRSABCD steps for life support.

Severe allergic reactions/anaphylaxis

If someone has sudden breathing problems (e.g. wheeze, cough, hoarse voice) AND they are allergic to foods, insect stings or medicines:

Call 000 for an ambulance

Give adrenaline first. Use their own autoinjector (e.g. EpiPen) if available.

Do this even if there are no other signs of an allergic reaction.

Then follow the asthma first aid steps.

Allergic reactions

Signs of mild-to-moderate allergic reaction:

·         swelling of lips, face, eyes
·         tingling mouth
·         hives or welts
·         abdominal pain, vomiting (these are signs of anaphylaxis for insect allergy) 


·         difficult or noisy breathing
·         swelling of tongue
·         swelling or tightness in throat 
·         wheeze or persistent cough
·         difficulty talking or hoarse voice
·         persistent dizziness or collapse
·         pale and floppy (young children)

ALWAYS GIVE ADRENALINE INJECTOR FIRST, and then asthma reliever puffer if someone with known asthma and allergy to food, insects or medication has SUDDEN BREATHING DIFFICULTY (including wheeze, persistent cough or hoarse voice), even if there are no skin symptoms.

How to give reliever in first aid using Symbicort Rapihaler 50/3 or 100/3

First Aid Symbicort Rap
When to call 000 for an ambulance

Person is getting drowsy

Person looks blue around lips

The person has allergies to foods, insect stings, or medicines

Person isn’t getting better You aren’t sure what to do

How to use Symbicort Rapihaler

  1. Remove puffer cap and shake puffer.
  2. Insert puffer upright into spacer.
  3. Put mouthpiece of spacer between person’s teeth and seal lips around it.
  4. Press once firmly on puffer to release one puff into spacer.
  5. Get them to take 4 breaths in and out of spacer.
  6. Repeat to give second puff.
  7. Replace cap on puffer.


Note: This information is for first aid in an emergency. People usually don’t need more than 1 or 2 doses of Symbicort in one day for relief of symptoms. It is not recommended to take more than 12 doses at one time, or more than 24 in one day.

Tremor (e.g. shaky hands) can be a side-effect of this medicine. High doses can cause rapid pulse rate. Use it as needed for asthma symptoms. After the person is breathing normally again, do not keep giving extra doses.

How to use Rapihaler