What is budesonide?

Budesonide is a steroid. It prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

Budesonide inhalation is used to prevent asthma attacks. It will not treat an asthma attack that has already begun.

Budesonide may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to budesonide, or if you are having an acute asthma attack.

Before using budesonide inhalation, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • liver disease;
  • osteoporosis;
  • herpes simplex infection of your eyes;
  • any type of bacterial, fungal, or viral infection; or
  • a history of tuberculosis.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Budesonide can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Budesonide can affect growth in children. Talk with your doctor if you think your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medication.

Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 6 years old without the advice of a doctor.

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. Talk with your doctor about your risk of osteoporosis.

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medication.

Back to top

Instructions

An overdose of budesonide inhalation is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms. However, long-term use of high steroid doses can lead to symptoms such as thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your face, neck, back, and waist), increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems, impotence, or loss of interest in sex.

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Back to top

Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • weakness, tired feeling, nausea, vomiting, feeling like you might pass out;
  • wheezing or breathing problems after using this medication;
  • worsening respiratory symptoms;
  • ear pain with fever;
  • vision problems; or
  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • runny or stuffy nose, sneezing;
  • sore throat, cough;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;
  • nosebleed; or
  • headache.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Back to top

Interactions

The following drugs can interact with budesonide. Tell your doctor if you are using any of these:

  • HIV /AIDS medicine such as nelfinavir (Viracept) or ritonavir (Norvir);
  • an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin), or troleandomycin (Tao);
  • an antifungal medication such as itraconazole (Sporanox) or ketoconazole (Nizoral);
  • an "SSRI" antidepressant such as fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), or paroxetine (Paxil); or
  • a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with budesonide inhalation. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Entocort EC, Pulmicort Flexhaler, Pulmicort Respules, Pulmicort Turbuhaler, budesonide, Entocort, and Pulmicort Nebuamp

Back to top

Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

Last updated: