Breo Ellipta vs Symbicort: What’s the Difference?

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic shone a spotlight on the prevalence of breathing problems in the United States. When around 1 of every 13 Americans suffers from asthma, a chronic breathing condition, it exposes them to serious risk during infectious seasons like this. Thankfully, there are a variety of inhalers on the market to treat this condition, including Breo Ellipta and Symbicort.

You may wonder if there are any major differences between these 2 inhalers. Here’s what you need to know about Breo Ellipta vs Symbicort.

Breo Ellipta vs Symbicort: Dosage

Both Breo Ellipta and Symbicort have a similar formula (a corticosteroid plus a beta-agonist). However, the two differ in their typical dosage. When you compare Breo Ellipta vs Symbicort, you have to use twice the amount of Symbicort for the same effectiveness as a single dose of Breo. (That is, you take Symbicort twice daily, and Breo Ellipta only once.)

If Symbicort works better for you to remember your dosing schedule, then go for it. If you’d rather take something once per day, Breo is the better call.

Breo Ellipta vs Symbicort: Side Effects

Dosage may have an effect on which medication you prefer, but the larger deciding factor is the side effects. If you decide to take Symbicort, the most common side effects you can experience include:

  • Headache
  • Sinus and other respiratory infections
  • Vomiting
  • Flu or cold symptoms
  • Back pain

By comparison, the most common Breo Ellipta side effects include:

  • Hoarse throat and voice
  • Thrush, or yeast infections in the mouth and throat
  • Headache
  • Inflammation in the nose and throat

Breo Ellipta users with a milk allergy may also experience allergic reactions since the medication contains milk proteins. However, it’s ultimately up to the user which suite of side effects they’d rather deal with.

Breo Ellipta vs Symbicort: Generic Availability and Cost

When it comes to cost, Breo Ellipta and brand-name Symbicort play in a similar ballpark. They cost around $350-$375 for a single inhaler. You can reduce the cost of breo ellipta by purchasing through an online pharmacy. However, there is no equivalent Breo Ellipta generic. So, if you can’t find insurance coverage or use an online pharmacy, you’ll pay full price.

Symbicort, on the other hand, does have a generic option available. This generic cuts the cost of Symbicort to around $140. So, if the side effects of Symbicort aren’t too much for you, it might prove the better buy.

Let’s Review the Facts

In the battle of Breo Ellipta vs Symbicort, which medication comes out the victor? It depends on your personal experience. If you tend to experience a lot of upper respiratory symptoms, Symbicort may exacerbate those. If you’re allergic to milk proteins, Breo Ellipta is out of the question. And of course, in terms of cost, it’s hard to beat a prescription that has a generic available.

Ultimately, only you and your doctor can make the decision about which of these inhalers is right for you. However, if you want more tips to help you manage your asthma, check out the Lifestyle section of our blog for more articles like this one!