Pulmicort Inhaler (Budesonide)
Pulmicort is used for preventing asthma symptoms. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
How to take
Use Pulmicort as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
An extra patient leaflet is available with Pulmicort. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
Inhale Pulmicort through the mouth.
You will need to prime a new inhaler before you use it for the first time. Twist the inhaler cover and lift it off. Hold the unit upright (mouthpiece on top) and turn the grip fully in one direction, then fully in the other direction until it clicks. It does not matter which way you turn it first. Repeat. Do not reprime the inhaler. You will only need to prime the inhaler once, even if you do not use it for a long period of time. The inhaler is now ready for use.
To use a dose, twist the inhaler cover and lift it off. Hold the unit upright (mouthpiece on top) and turn the grip fully in one direction, then fully in the other direction until it clicks. It does not matter which way you turn it first. Do NOT shake the inhaler. Turn your head away from the inhaler and breathe out fully. Place the mouthpiece between your lips and inhale forcefully and deeply. You may not feel the medicine. Remove the inhaler from your mouth and breathe out. Do NOT breathe out through the inhaler. Do not bite or chew the mouthpiece.
If more than 1 inhalation is needed to complete your dose, repeat the previous steps.
Replace the mouthpiece cover after each use.
Rinse your mouth with water after each use to help prevent mouth or throat infections. Do not swallow the rinse water. Spit it out.
Do not use Pulmicort with a spacer.
Keep the inhaler clean and dry at all times.
Pulmicort has a dose counter located just below the mouthpiece to help you to keep track of how many doses are left in your inhaler. The dose counter will count down every time a dose is loaded; however, it is unlikely that you will see the dose counter move with each dose. You will be able to see that it is moving after intervals of about 5 doses. Do not use this inhaler after the number "0" on the red background has reached the middle of the dose counter window. It may no longer give the correct amount of medicine with each dose.
Continue to use Pulmicort even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
Use Pulmicort on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Pulmicort is an inhaled corticosteroid. It works by decreasing irritation and swelling in the airways, which helps to control or prevent asthma symptoms.
If you miss a dose of Pulmicort, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Always replace the cover. Store inhaler at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) in a dry place away from moisture.
Some medical conditions may interact with Pulmicort. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances (eg, milk protein)
- if you have increased pressure in the eye; glaucoma; cataracts; a herpes infection of the eye; a bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection; a viral infection (eg, chickenpox, shingles); diarrhea; measles; tuberculosis; or osteoporosis
- if you have had a positive tuberculosis skin test or have recently been vaccinated
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Pulmicort. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Hormonal contraceptives (eg, birth control pills, patches, implants), imidazole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole, itraconazole), or macrolide antibiotics (eg, erythromycin, clarithromycin) because they may increase the risk of Pulmicort's side effects
- Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), carbamazepine, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), or rifampin because they may decrease Pulmicort's effectiveness
- Live vaccines or ritodrine because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Pulmicort
Possible Side Effects
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
- Nasal congestion; throat irritation.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
- Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); depression; ear pain or discharge; mental or mood changes; new or worsening asthma symptoms (eg, increased wheezing); severe or persistent diarrhea or stomach pain; shortness of breath after using Pulmicort Flexhaler Powder; signs of infection (eg, fever, chills, or sore throat); vision changes; white patches in the mouth or throat.
Each inhaler contains about 200 doses. When a red mark appears in the window under the mouthpiece, there are only 20 doses left. The inhaler is empty when the red mark reaches the lower edge of the window. Once empty, discard the inhaler as it cannot be refilled. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., morning cortisol levels) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details. Do not share this medication with others. Inform all your doctors you use (or have used) this medication.