A smarter way to manage asthma with a combination of a long-acting beta(2)-agonist and inhaled corticosteroid

Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2007 Jun;3(2):349-59. doi: 10.2147/tcrm.2007.3.2.349.


Symbicort SMART(R) (Symbicort Maintenance and Reliever Therapy) represents a new and unique way of treating patients with moderate-to-severe asthma, ie, those patients who require combination treatment with an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting inhaled beta(2)-agonist. Symbicort SMART enables patients to use only one inhaler, the budesonide-formoterol combination inhaler, for both maintenance and reliever therapy. The maintenance dose is adjustable, but should be a minimum of two doses per day which can be administered as two doses once daily or as one dose twice daily. It is important that the temporary reliever medication includes not only a bronchodilator but also an antiinflammatory drug because worsening of asthma includes not only more airway narrowing, but also an increase in airway inflammation. The Symbicort SMART concept therefore ensures that the patient gets an antiinflammatory drug at the time of the first signs of asthma worsening. Clinical results show that Symbicort SMART prolongs the time to the first severe asthma exacerbation, reduces the rate of exacerbations, and maintains day-to-day asthma control at a reduced load of corticosteroids (inhaled plus systemic) when compared with higher fixed maintenance doses of combination inhalers. Symbicort SMART consequently offers a more effective and simple approach to asthma management for physicians and patients. Symbicort SMART is also easier for the patient as only one inhaler is required. The positive results with Symbicort SMART can be explained by the early as-needed use on the inhaled corticosteroid component, which puts out the early flames of inflammation, together with the interaction between the beta(2)-agonist, formoterol, and the inhaled corticosteroid, budesonide.