Budesonide (Oral Inhalation)

Adult Medication

Brand Names: US

Pulmicort; Pulmicort Flexhaler

Brand Names: Canada

Pulmicort Turbuhaler

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat asthma.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to budesonide or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you are having a breathing attack.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
  • If your normal short-acting puffer (inhaler) dose does not work well, you need to use your short-acting puffer more often than normal, or your breathing gets worse, call your doctor right away.
  • This drug is not helpful during an asthma attack.
  • Do not use this drug to treat an asthma attack. Use a rescue inhaler. Talk with your doctor.
  • When changing from an oral steroid to another form of a steroid, there may be very bad and sometimes deadly side effects. Signs like weakness, feeling tired, dizziness, upset stomach, throwing up, not thinking clearly, or low blood sugar may happen. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these signs. If you have a bad injury, have surgery, or any type of infection, you may need extra doses of oral steroids. These extra steroids will help your body deal with these stresses. Carry a warning card saying that there may be times when you may need extra steroids.
  • If you have been taking this drug for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop this drug.
  • Chickenpox and measles can be very bad or even deadly in some people taking steroid drugs like this drug. Avoid being near anyone with chickenpox or measles if you have not had these health problems before. If you have been exposed to chickenpox or measles, talk with your doctor.
  • This drug may cause weak bones (osteoporosis) with long-term use. Talk with your doctor to see if you have a higher chance of weak bones or if you have any questions.
  • Have a bone density test as you have been told by your doctor. Talk with your doctor.
  • Long-term use may raise the chance of cataracts or glaucoma. Talk with the doctor.
  • Have your eye pressure checked if you are on this drug for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • This drug may affect growth in children and teens in some cases. They may need regular growth checks. Talk with the doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
  • Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
  • Skin changes (pimples, stretch marks, slow healing, hair growth).
  • A fatty pad or hump between the shoulders.
  • Round face.
  • Swelling of the ankles.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Bone or joint pain.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Redness or white patches in mouth or throat.
  • This drug can cause very bad breathing problems right after you take a dose. Sometimes, this may be life-threatening. If you have trouble breathing, breathing that is worse, wheezing, or coughing after using this drug, use a rescue inhaler and get medical help right away.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

All products:

  • Stuffy nose.
  • Runny nose.
  • Nose and throat irritation.

Liquid for breathing in:

  • Cough.
  • Nosebleed.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

All products:

  • Follow how to use as you have been told by the doctor or read the package insert.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Keep using this drug as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • Rinse out mouth after each use. Do not swallow the rinse water. Spit it out.

Puffer (inhaler):

  • For breathing in only.
  • Prime puffer (inhaler) before first use by twisting brown grip as far as it will go both ways. Then repeat twisting.
  • Have your puffer (inhaler) use checked with your doctor at each visit. Read and follow facts on how to use the puffer. Make sure you use the puffer the right way.
  • Do not use a spacer with the puffer (inhaler).
  • Put the cap back on after you are done using your dose.
  • If using more than 1 type of puffer (inhaler), ask the doctor which puffer to use first.

Liquid for breathing in:

  • For breathing in only as a liquid (solution) by a special machine (nebulizer) into the lungs.
  • Do not mix other drugs in nebulizer.
  • Shake well before use.
  • Wash face if using a face mask.
  • If you are using a puffer (inhaler), wait 10 minutes before using this drug.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

Puffer (inhaler):

  • Store at room temperature. Throw away after date shown on the puffer (inhaler).

Liquid for breathing in:

  • Store upright at room temperature. Throw away any part not used after 2 weeks.
  • Protect from light.

All products:

  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date



© 2016 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.