Navigating the Use of Symbicort During Pregnancy: Understanding Benefits and Risks

Pregnancy is a time of profound care and consideration for both the mother and the developing baby. For expectant mothers grappling with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), managing their respiratory health becomes a critical concern. Symbicort, a commonly prescribed medication for these respiratory conditions, poses questions and considerations regarding its use during pregnancy. Understanding the benefits and potential risks is essential for informed decision-making and optimal prenatal care.

Symbicort, a combination inhaler, contains two active ingredients: budesonide, a corticosteroid that reduces inflammation in the airways, and formoterol, a long-acting beta-agonist that helps relax muscles in the airways, facilitating easier breathing. It’s typically prescribed to manage asthma or COPD symptoms, such as wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

When it comes to using Symbicort during pregnancy, healthcare providers weigh the potential benefits of controlling respiratory symptoms against the possible risks to both the mother and the developing fetus. Several factors are considered:

1. Control of Respiratory Symptoms: Uncontrolled asthma or COPD during pregnancy can pose risks to both the mother and the baby. Poorly managed respiratory conditions might lead to decreased oxygen levels in the mother’s bloodstream, affecting fetal development. Symbicort can help maintain better control over symptoms, reducing the risk of exacerbations or complications related to unmanaged respiratory issues.

2. Safety Profile: Studies evaluating the safety of Symbicort during pregnancy have shown mixed results. While some research suggests a potential link between the use of certain medications containing corticosteroids during pregnancy and a slightly higher risk of certain birth defects, the evidence specific to Symbicort is limited. However, it’s important to note that untreated or poorly controlled asthma or COPD can also pose risks to the developing baby.

3. Consultation with Healthcare Providers: The decision to use Symbicort or any medication during pregnancy should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider. They can assess the individual’s medical history, the severity of the respiratory condition, and the potential benefits versus risks of using Symbicort during pregnancy. Often, the goal is to find the most effective treatment with the least risk for both the mother and the baby.

4. Monitoring and Adjustments: Healthcare providers typically recommend closely monitoring both the mother and the baby throughout pregnancy when using Symbicort or similar medications. Regular check-ups and monitoring can help assess the effectiveness of the medication and ensure the well-being of both the mother and the developing fetus.


The decision to use Symbicort during pregnancy involves careful consideration of the potential benefits and risks. While uncontrolled respiratory conditions can pose risks to the pregnancy, the use of any medication during this time requires a thorough discussion between the expectant mother and her healthcare provider. The aim is to find the balance between managing respiratory symptoms effectively while minimizing potential risks to the developing baby. Ultimately, individualized care and close monitoring are crucial in ensuring the best possible outcomes for both the mother and her baby.