Pulmicort

Pronunciation

Generic Name: budesonide inhalation (byoo DES oh nide)
Brand Names: Pulmicort Flexhaler, Pulmicort Respules

What is Pulmicort?

Pulmicort contains budesonide which is a corticosteroid. Budesonide prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

Pulmicort is used to prevent asthma attacks. It will not treat an asthma attack that has already begun. It works by decreasing irritation and swelling in the airways, which helps to control or prevent asthma symptoms.

Pulmicort may also be used for purposes other than those listed.

Important information

Do not use Pulmicort to treat an asthma attack that has already begun. It will not work fast enough to reverse your symptoms. Use only a fast-acting inhalation medicine to treat an asthma attack.

Contact your doctor if your asthma symptoms do not improve after using Pulmicort for 2 weeks.

Slideshow: COPD - Could You Be At Risk?

Call your doctor right away if you think any of your asthma medications are not working as well as usual. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack.

Your dosage of Pulmicort may change if you have surgery, are ill, are under stress, or have recently had an asthma attack. Talk with your doctor if any of your asthma medications do not seem to work as well in treating or preventing asthma attacks.

If you also use an oral steroid medication, do not stop using the steroid suddenly or you may have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk with your doctor about taking less and less of the steroid before stopping completely.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using Pulmicort?

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

Before using Pulmicort, 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. Pulmicort 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 Pulmicort without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

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 Pulmicort 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.

How should I use Pulmicort?

Use Pulmicort exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Do not use Pulmicort to treat an asthma attack that has already begun. It will not work fast enough to reverse your symptoms. Use only a fast-acting inhalation medicine to treat an asthma attack.

Pulmicort comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use, and directions for priming the inhaler device. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

To reduce the chance of developing a yeast infection in your mouth, rinse your mouth with water after using Pulmicort. If you are using a nebulizer with a face mask, wash the mask area of your face after each use.

If you also use a steroid medication, do not stop using the steroid suddenly or you may have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk with your doctor about taking less and less of the steroid before stopping completely.

Contact your doctor if your asthma symptoms do not improve after using Pulmicort for 2 weeks.

Asthma is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor.

Your dosage needs may change if you have surgery, are ill, are under stress, or have recently had an asthma attack. Talk with your doctor if any of your asthma medications do not seem to work as well in treating or preventing asthma attacks.

Call your doctor right away if you feel that Pulmicort makes your condition worse. If it seems like you need to use more of any of your medications in a 24-hour period, talk with your doctor.

To be sure Pulmicort is not causing harmful effects, your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Using a steroid can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to get sick from being around others who are ill.

Store Pulmicort at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the cover on your inhaler device while not in use.

Keep the strip of Pulmicort Respules in the foil envelope, protected from light until you are ready to use the medication. After tearing off one ampule, return the strip to the envelope to protect the remaining ampules from light. Store the foil envelope upright. Once you have opened an envelope, you must use the ampules within 2 weeks.

The Pulmicort Flexhaler device has indicator marks to show you how many doses are left inside. These dose-counter marks show increments of 20 doses. The indicator may not appear to move until about 5 doses have been used.

>Do not use an extra dose just because the Flexhaler indicator has not visibly moved to a lower number after one use. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about using your inhaler device.

Get your Pulmicort prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely. Throw the old inhaler device away. It is a disposable container and cannot be refilled with budesonide.

What happens if I miss a dose?

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 Pulmicort to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of Pulmicort 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.

What should I avoid?

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.

Pulmicort side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Pulmicort: 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 Pulmicort;

  • 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 Pulmicort 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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Pulmicort?

The following drugs can interact with Pulmicort. 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) or erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin);

  • 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, Vanatrip), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with Pulmicort. 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.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Pulmicort.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Pulmicort only for the indication prescribed.
  • 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 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.02. Revision Date: 11/05/2009 10:21:33 AM.

Hide
(web1)