This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
Brand Names: US
Pulmicort; Pulmicort Flexhaler
Brand Names: Canada
Pulmicort Nebuamp; Pulmicort Turbuhaler; TARO-Budesonide; TEVA-Budesonide
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.
- Do not use this drug to treat an asthma attack. Use a rescue inhaler. Talk with your doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?
- If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have a milk allergy.
This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.
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.
- Call your doctor right away if your breathing problems get worse, if your rescue inhaler does not work as well, or if you need to use your rescue inhaler more often.
- 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, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the 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, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- 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.
- Signs of a weak adrenal gland like a severe upset stomach or throwing up, severe dizziness or passing out, muscle weakness, feeling very tired, mood changes, decreased appetite, or weight loss.
- Signs of Cushing’s disease like weight gain in the upper back or belly, moon face, very bad headache, or slow healing.
- Chest pain.
- Severe diarrhea.
- Severe stomach pain, upset stomach, or throwing up.
- Decreased appetite.
- Very bad headache.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Bone or joint pain.
- Change in eyesight.
- Redness or white patches in mouth or throat.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- 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:
- Signs of a common cold.
- Nose or throat irritation.
- Upset stomach.
Liquid for breathing in:
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.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
How is this drug best taken?
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- For breathing in only.
- Prime the inhaler before first use by twisting brown grip as far as it will go both ways. Then repeat twisting.
- Do not use a spacer with the inhaler.
- Put the cap back on after you are done using your dose.
Liquid for breathing in:
- For breathing in only as a liquid (solution) by a special machine (nebulizer) into the lungs.
- Do not swallow this drug.
- Do not mix other drugs in nebulizer.
- Shake gently before use.
- Wash face after the dose if using a face mask.
- 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.
- If you are taking more than 1 inhaled drug, talk to your doctor about the best order for taking your drugs.
What do I do if I miss a 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?
- Store at room temperature. Throw away after date shown on the inhaler.
Liquid for breathing in:
- Store upright at room temperature. Do not freeze.
- Protect from light.
- Store unused containers in foil pouch until use.
- Throw away any part of opened pouch that is not used after 2 weeks.
- 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.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
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.
- 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.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. 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.
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