Pulmicort

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Generic Name: Pulmicort Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Pulmicort® (budesonide inhalation) used for?

Pulmicort® contains budesonide, a corticosteroid that prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

Pulmicort® is used to prevent asthma attacks in adults and children who are at least 6 years old.

How should I take Pulmicort® (budesonide inhalation)?

Use Pulmicort® exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Pulmicort® is not a rescue medicine. It will not work fast enough to treat an asthma attack. Use only a fast acting inhalation medicine for an asthma attack.

This medicine comes with a medication guide for safe and effective use, and directions for priming and cleaning the inhaler device. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Use only the inhaler device that comes with your medicine. Do not place the Pulmicort® Flexhaler device in water or try to take it apart.

Always rinse your mouth with water after using this medicine, to help prevent thrush (a fungal infection in the mouth or throat). If you are using a nebulizer with a face mask, wash the mask area of your face after each use.

While using Pulmicort®, your doctor may need to check your vision and bone mineral density.

Using a steroid can weaken your immune system. This can make it easier for you to get sick from being around others who are ill.

Your dose needs may change if you have surgery, are ill, are under stress, or have recently had an asthma attack. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor’s advice.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after the first week of treatment, or if you think your asthma medications are not working as well. If you use a peak flow meter at home, tell your doctor if your numbers are lower than normal.

Asthma is usually treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor’s advice.

How do I store Pulmicort® (budesonide inhalation)?

Pulmicort® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Pulmicort® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Pulmicort® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Pulmicort® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Pulmicort® (budesonide inhalation)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Pulmicort® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You have a severe allergy to milk proteins.
  • You are having an asthma attack.

To make sure Pulmicort® is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • Liver disease
  • Osteoporosis, or low bone mineral density
  • Glaucoma, cataracts, or herpes infection of the eyes
  • Any type of infection caused by bacteria, fungus, virus, or parasite
  • Food or drug allergies
  • A history of tuberculosis
  • If you are malnourished, if you smoke, or if you are going through menopause

Long-term use of steroids may lead to bone loss (osteoporosis), especially if you smoke, if you do not exercise, if you do not get enough vitamin D or calcium in your diet, or if you have a family history of osteoporosis.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Pulmicort® (budesonide inhalation)?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Pulmicort®: hives, rash, severe itching; chest pain, difficult breathing, feeling anxious; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Worsening asthma symptoms
  • Wheezing, choking, or other breathing problems after using this medication
  • White patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips
  • Blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights
  • Signs of infection – fever, chills, body aches, ear pain, nausea, vomiting
  • Signs of low adrenal gland hormones – worsening tiredness or muscle weakness, feeling light-headed, nausea, vomiting

Common side effects may include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose, sneezing
  • Red, itchy, and watery eyes
  • Fever, sore throat, cough
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, loss of appetite
  • Nosebleed
  • Headache, back pain

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Pulmicort® (budesonide inhalation)?

Pulmicort® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Other steroid medicine (fluticasone, prednisone, dexamethasone, methylprednisolone, and others)
  • An antibiotic or antifungal medicine (such as ketoconazole, voriconazole, and others)
  • Antiviral medicine to treat hepatitis C or HIV/AIDS
  • Seizure medication
  • Drugs that weaken the immune system such as cancer medicine, steroids, and medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection

Does food or alcohol interact with Pulmicort® (budesonide inhalation)?

Pulmicort® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Pulmicort® (budesonide inhalation)?

Pulmicort® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Pulmicort® (budesonide inhalation).

What is the dose of Pulmicort® (budesonide inhalation) for an adult?

Bronchodilators alone: 0.5 mg once daily or 0.25 mg twice daily.

Inhaled corticosteroids: 0.5 mg once daily or 0.25 mg twice daily up to 0.5 mg twice daily.

Oral corticosteroids: 0.5 mg twice daily or 1 mg once daily.

What is the dose of Pulmicort® (budesonide inhalation) for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Pulmicort® (budesonide inhalation) available?

Pulmicort® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Inhalation suspension: budesonide 0.25mg in2ml

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Pulmicort®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: August 17, 2017 | Last Modified: September 2, 2017

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