Trelegy Vs. Symbicort; Similarities and Differences

Trelegy vs Sym
Trelegy vs Sym

With global air pollution increasing annually, the risk of respiratory diseases has risen sharply in recent times. Today an estimated 545 million people have asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases in the world.

Respiratory diseases like asthma affect patients by constricting the airways in the lungs; this happens due to the buildup of mucus in the airways or inflammation in the muscle lining of the bronchial tubes. This leads to difficulty breathing and feelings of suffocation in the patient. If not treated in time, such diseases can worsen and even cause death.

With so much of the world having respiratory diseases and 14% of the children globally having asthma, pharmaceutical companies are trying to find newer and better solutions for the condition.

A new class of drugs called bronchodilator combinations is found to be effective at treating respiratory diseases and stopping such conditions from worsening. Two such bronchodilator combinations are Trelegy and Symbicort, which work as long-term treatments for respiratory problems and give patients a chance to improve their quality of life.

Bronchodilator Combinations

Bronchodilators are a type of medication that helps in making breathing easier by relaxing the lungs in the airways and opening the bronchi (airways). They are generally used for long-term treatment in patients whose airways are chronically constricted.

Bronchodilator combinations are a class of medication that is used for the treatment of diseases that affect breathing and lung function.

Bronchodilator combinations are generally available in the form of inhalers and inhalation devices. They either contain more than one bronchodilator or one bronchodilator and one steroid.

Some bronchodilator combinations that contain more than one bronchodilator are typically composed of one long acting and one short acting bronchodilator also to provide quick relief.

Bronchodilator combinations with steroids work as a preventative measure that works by inhibiting the body’s inflammatory response, which helps in alleviating symptoms of asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases while also improving lung function.

asthma info

What is Trelegy?

Trelegy is a medicine used to treat Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease and Asthma. The medication is administered through an inhaler and contains fluticasone and umeclidinium, the former being an anti-inflammatory steroid while the latter being a long-acting anticholinergic bronchodilator.

The fluticasone helps to open up the bronchial tubes by decreasing the inflammation because of which the airways are constricted, while umeclidinium blocks the nerve reflex that causes the airways to constrict back.

Trelegy should not be used as a rescue inhaler during asthma or bronchospasm attack as it is not a quick fix. Instead, it is a long-acting medication that prevents patients from having severe lung complications. So taking Trelegy only when your chest is feeling tight will not do you any good, but taking it every day for more extended treatment will prevent it altogether.

Many Americans have been purchasing their Trelegy from Canada, as many health coverage programs do not provide coverage.


Trelegy comes in the form of an inhaler, and each inhaler contains 30 doses. Each inhaler contains two foil strips with a medication in each.

One strip holds 100mcg or 200mcg of fluticasone, while the other holds 62.5mcg of umeclidinium and 25mcg of vilanterol.

Trelegy should only be taken once a day, and the maximum recommended dose for the drug is also one puff per day. Exceeding the recommended dose puts you at the risk of severe side effects.

Note: It is important to rinse your mouth after inhaling a dose. This helps prevent oral infections.

Side Effects

As with any medication, there are many side effects that a person may experience when taking Trelegy. These side effects can either be mild or severe.


Mild Side Effects of Trelegy

●  Mouth and throat pain

●  Change in the sense of taste

●  Bronchitis

●  Stomachache

●  Flu

●  Upper respiratory infection (common cold)

●  Sinus infection

●  Headache

●  Diarrhea

●  Back pain and joint pain

Serious Side Effects of Trelegy

●  Pneumonia

●  Decrease adrenal gland function

● Thrush (fungal infection) in the mouth or throat

●  Weakened immune system

●  Increased blood sugar levels

●  Decreased levels of potassium in the blood

●  Bronchospasm

●  Changes in heart rate or blood pressure

●  Weakened bones

●  Nervous system problems

●  Eye problems such as glaucoma or cataracts

What is Symbicort?

Symbicort is a medication used to treat and control symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma, and other breathing-related diseases. The medication is administered through an inhaler and contains a combination of Budesonide and Formoterol, the former being a steroid that lessens inflammation while the latter being a long-acting bronchodilator.

Budesonide works by preventing inflammation in the airways, making asthma attacks less severe. In contrast, Formoterol works by helping the muscles around your airways stay relaxed so that they may not constrict again.

Symbicort should not be used as a rescue inhaler during asthma or bronchospasm attack as it will not do you any good instead, it should be used for long-term treatment of asthma to control it and prevent it from getting out of hand.


Symbicort comes in the form of a metered-dose inhaler. Each inhaler consists of either 60 or 120 puffs. Each inhalation of the medication is a premeasured puff and is available in two metered dosages: 80mcg/4.5mcg per puff and 160mcg/4.5mcg per puff.

Only two puffs of Symbicort should be taken daily for COPD and asthma patients. The maximum dosage for COPD patients is 4 puffs a day (Symbicort 160mcg), and the maximum dosage for asthma patients is 12 puffs a day (Symbicort 80mcg).

Exceeding the recommended maximum dosage puts you at an increased risk of experiencing severe side effects.                                                                           

Note: It is important to rinse your mouth after inhaling a dose. This helps prevent oral infections.

Side Effects

As with any medication, there are many side effects that a person may experience when taking Symbicort. These side effects can either be mild or severe.

Mild Side Effects

These are very common to experience and often go away within a few days of using the drugs. They may include:

● Pain when speaking and trouble speaking

● Back pain

● Headache

● Nausea or vomiting

● Upper respiratory tract infection, such as the common cold, flu, bronchitis, or sinusitis

● Nasal congestion

● Stomach discomfort

● Oral thrush (a yeast infection in your mouth)

Serious Side Effects

These aren’t that common to experience, but there is a possibility of it happening. They can include:


● Serious asthma-related events
● Nervous system problems
● Decreased growth in children
● Decrease in bone density
● Pneumonia
● Cardiovascular problems
● Bronchospasm
● Increased cortisol levels and decreased function of the adrenal glands
● High blood sugar level
● Increased risk of infection
● Eosinophilia (high level of certain white blood cells)
● Low levels of potassium in the blood

Which is Better; Trelegy or Symbicort?

study compared Trelegy and Symbicort over the course of 24 weeks, where standard doses of each medication were given to patients suffering from respiratory diseases.

A questionnaire designed to measure overall health, daily life, and perceived well being in patients with obstructive airways disease, known as St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), showed that 50% of patients taking Trelegy responded to the survey and reported life improvement, compared to 41% of the patients taking Symbicort.

Patients taking Trelegy also showed significant improvement in lung functioning compared to patients taking Symbicort.

The study also showed that COPD patients that were treated with Trelegy showed a 35% decrease in exacerbations and also had to be hospitalized less often compared to patients treated with Symbicort.


Trelegy is by far the best lung drug on the market to treat severe respiratory diseases like COPD and asthma. Unlike other inhaler medications that have to be multiple times a day, Trelegy only has to be taken once a day. Trelegy is the only Bronchodilator combination on the market to combine three different medications, unlike other Bronchodilator combinations that combine two.

The medication has also been shown to be ahead of all the available lung-related drugs in results and effectiveness, according to a recently conducted study.

Because Trelegy is a breakthrough medicine compared to typical Bronchodilator combinations, it doesn’t have any competition; this makes the drug far more expensive than any other respiratory drug on the market.

The availability of Trelegy does not lessen the potency of Symbicort, as the latter is still a very effective drug and is far cheaper and more accessible than Trelegy.

Only when Symbicort is compared side by side to Trelegy is when it falls short. Still, most people would be satisfied with using Symbicort for their long-term treatment, but if you have the budget for Trelegy, then it would be a good idea to invest in it.