Budesonide Brand names of budesonide Things you need to tell your physician before taking budesonide Usage How to use budesonide How budesonide works Side effects Possible interactions Discontinuation Storage instructions


Brand names of budesonide

  • Entocort
  • Entocort enema
  • Gen-Budesonide AQ
  • Pulmicort
  • Pulmicort Nebuamp
  • Pulmicort Turbuhaler,
  • Rhinocort Aqua
  • Rhinocort Turbuhaler

Budesonide is a glucocorticoid steroid and is a man-made medication. Budesonide is closely related to cortisol or hydrocortisone which is a hormone that is naturally produced in the adrenal glands. Budesonide is used as an inhalation in the treatment of asthma.

Budesonide or cortisol are glucocorticoid steroids which work as powerful anti-inflammatory agents to reduce airway passage inflammation and the spasms in the airways, caused by asthma. When inhaled, budesonide immediately enters the inflamed inner lining of air passages and sets to work to reduce inflammation. One drawback is that only 39% of the inhaled budesonide is absorbed into the body and this only minimally affects the air passages.

Things you need to tell your physician before taking budesonide

Before you start with budesonide you must let your doctor know if you are allergic to it or to any other medicine you might be taking. The doctor should be aware of all the prescribed and non-prescribed medicines you are taking now or are planning to take like vitamins, herbal medications or nutritional products.

Convey to the doctor if the following medical conditions have affected you or anyone in the family like diabetes or high levels of sugar in the blood, high blood pressure, glaucoma, tuberculosis, stomach ulcers, cataracts, liver disease or if there are any fragile bones due to osteoporosis.

Report if you are pregnant, plan to get pregnant or if you are breast feeding your baby before you start with budesonide and if you do become pregnant while taking this medication inform the doctor right away.

Any surgical or dental interventions that your surgeon or dentist has planned for you should be undertaken after you have informed them that you are taking budesonide.

If you have not been vaccinated against chicken pox and measles and have not yet had these infections then stay away from all people who might be ill and especially if they are suffering from chicken pox and measles. If you develop symptoms of either chicken pox or measles or if you somehow get exposed to them then tell the doctor immediately as he could advice medication to prevent these infections.


Allergic rhinitis, permanent or seasonal allergies like hay fever symptoms are treated with the nasal inhalant. It is also used to prevent nasal polyps from appearing after they have been removed surgically. Asthma is treated with the oral inhaler, while to treat lower bowel ulcerative colitis budesonide is used as an enema.

How to use budesonide

Before you begin taking budesonide and each time you get the refill it is important that you read the Patient Information Booklet that is available with the pharmacist. To help you to use the medicine properly directions are in illustrations. You should also fully understand how to operate the compressed nebulizer which comes with a facemask or mouth piece and also make sure you have understood how to clean it so infections can be prevented. All questions about the breathing machine should be directed at the doctor, pharmacist or the respiratory therapist.

Budesonide should not be used in an ultrasonic nebulizer and neither should budesonide suspension be mixed with other medications inside the nebuliser. A child needs to be supervised by a responsible adult or by the parents if the child is using the inhaling mechanism. For any questions that need answering ask the professional health care giver.

Before using the medication you need to shake the container. The dosage is prescribed according to response to treatment and the medical condition of the patient. Since the medication is available in different strengths make sure you are using the correct strength of the medication.

The doctor may direct you otherwise but budesonide is generally inhaled once or twice a day through the mouth. While inhaling the medication it is best to keep the eyes closed, so the medication does not get in the eyes; remain calm and breathe deeply till the mist disappears in 5 to 10 minutes. Gargle and rinse your mouth after using budesonide without swallowing it. Rinsing will ensure that oral yeast infections, dry mouth and hoarseness are prevented. To prevent skin reactions and irritations the face must be washed especially where the facemask or mouthpiece has touched the skin.

For full benefits the medication needs to be used regularly so it is best to take it at the same time everyday. Neither should the dose be increased or decreased nor the frequency changed or stopped without consulting the doctor first.

Ask the doctor when to use each of the different medications you take. It is also important to understand which asthma controller drug is to be used on a regular schedule and when the quick relief asthma drug is to be used especially for sudden attacks. The doctor should be consulted ahead of time to know what should be done if the breathing worsens, if coughing or short breath increases or if you are awake at night because of breathing problems.

It is important to keep a track of how often there is a need for you to use the quick relief inhaler. Also if you find that the inhaler is not effective or if you need to use it more frequently, beyond 2 continuous days, then you should see the doctor immediately.

In case you use a different corticosteroid like prednisone on a regular basis do not stop using it unless the doctor has directed you to do so. Stopping it suddenly could cause withdrawal symptoms and asthmatic allergies could worsen. On starting budesonide withdrawal symptoms like weakness, headache, nausea, weight loss, muscle pain, fatigue and dizziness can be prevented once the doctor directs you to gradually lower the dose of your old medicine. The doctor and pharmacist can provide you with more details and any withdrawal symptoms should be immediately reported to them.

Though the full benefit of budesonide is seen only after 4 to 6 weeks of using the medication regularly but it could sometimes be beneficial as early as 2 to 8 days. If there is no improvement in your condition or it worsens inform your doctor.

How budesonide works

Primarily corticosteroids like budesonide work to reduce and prevent inflammation that occurs in the lining of the airways. When these medications are used, inhaled allergens will cause fewer allergies and the secretion of mucus in the airways will be inhibited. Bowel linings will also have reduced inflammation.

Side effects

No serious side effects are associated with budesonide.
Nasal inhalant:Oral inhalation:
  • white patches in mouth or throat
  • sore throat
  • hoarseness
Less common

Possible interactions

Herbal remedies like using fir and pine oil are not suitable for asthmatics. Ephedra is the only herb indicated for the treatment of asthma as it alone carries a German Commission E monograph. You will probably be allergic to Echinacea, chamomile, St. John's wort and feverfew if you are allergic also to aster, chrysanthemum, ragweed and daisy which belong to the Asteraceae family. Talk to your doctor if you wish to add herbal remedies to budesonide. However taking calcium and vitamin D with this medication would be sensible. Smoking tobacco could see a reduction in benefits if it is continued while on budesonide.

Sometimes an unrelated illness or the occurrence of some acute infection, serious injury and surgery could make it vital to use cortisone like medications urgently and so resuming this medication could become necessary. All new injuries or illnesses should be immediately reported to the doctor.


If using budesonide has reduced your dependence on other cortisone like medications then this medicine must not be stopped suddenly. If there is a need to discontinue with budesonide then call your doctor as other cortisone medications might have to be resumed.

Storage instructions

Budesonide must be kept tightly closed in the same container that it came in and in a place children cannot reach. It should be stored at room temperature and away from extreme heat and moisture and not in the bathroom. All medications not needed or those which are outdated should be disposed off carefully with the pharmacist's approval.

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