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19 October 2001 News Update


A combined corticosteroid and long-acting bronchodilator inhaler is now fully funded on the Pharmaceutical Schedule.

Symbicort Turbuhaler (AstraZeneca) contains budesonide and eformoterol. Patients using the combined inhaler experience an immediate feeling of symptom relief - eformoterol onset of effect is as fast as salbutamol and terbutaline - while also receiving a regular dose of the preventer corticosteroid.

The rationale behind the combined inhaler is that patients will be more motivated to use it regularly, which will improve symptom control because they are getting regular doses of preventer medication.

The treatment approach of adding a long-acting beta 2- agonist to an inhaled corticosteroid can also help to reduce the maintenance dose of steroid.

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