Budesonide is employed for the treatment of asthma-related symptoms including breathing difficulties, chest constriction, wheezing, and persistent coughing. In its powdered form for oral inhalation, known as Pulmicort Flexhaler, budesonide is prescribed for use in individuals aged 6 years and above. For children aged 12 months to 8 years, budesonide is available as a suspension (liquid) for oral inhalation under the name Pulmicort Respules.
Falling within the category of corticosteroid medications, budesonide operates by mitigating inflammation and irritation within the respiratory passages, thereby facilitating improved airflow and respiration.
Uses and Dosage
Budesonide is available in two forms: as a powder for inhalation using an inhaler and as a suspension for inhalation utilizing a specialized jet nebulizer—a device that transforms medication into an inhalable mist. Budesonide powder for oral inhalation is typically administered twice daily, while budesonide suspension for oral inhalation is usually taken once or twice a day.
Maintain a consistent schedule by using budesonide around the same time each day. Employ budesonide precisely as instructed, refraining from altering the dosage or frequency unless directed otherwise by your doctor.
In conjunction with your treatment involving budesonide inhalation, consult your doctor on the appropriate usage of your other oral and inhaled asthma medications. If you were previously on an oral corticosteroid such as dexamethasone, methylprednisolone, or prednisone, your doctor may gradually reduce the dose of the steroid after initiating budesonide usage.
Budesonide effectively manages asthma symptoms; however, it does not effect a cure. While certain improvements might become evident shortly after using the medication, the full benefits may take up to 1 to 2 weeks (for the powder) or 4 to 6 weeks (for the suspension) of consistent usage to manifest.
The regimen of budesonide should persist even if you feel well. Discontinuation of budesonide should be conducted under medical supervision. If no improvement is observed within the first 2 weeks (powder) or first 6 weeks (suspension) or if symptoms exacerbate, promptly contact your doctor.
Budesonide is effective in preventing asthma attacks characterized by sudden bouts of shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. It is not intended for mitigating an asthma attack that is already in progress. Your doctor will prescribe a short-acting inhaler to use during such episodes. Should your asthma symptoms worsen during the treatment course, inform your doctor accordingly.
The inhaler for budesonide is designed to deliver either 60 or 120 inhalations, contingent on its size. Following the usage of the specified number of inhalations, subsequent doses may not contain the accurate medication quantity. Maintaining a record of the inhalations is recommended. By dividing the total inhalations in your inhaler by your daily usage, you can ascertain how many days the inhaler will last. After employing the designated number of inhalations, the inhaler should be discarded, even if it retains some liquid and continues to emit a spray when pressed.
Budesonide nebulizer suspension should not be ingested.
Prior to your inaugural usage of the budesonide inhaler or jet nebulizer, it is essential to thoroughly review the accompanying written instructions. Carefully study the provided diagrams to ensure your familiarity with all components of the inhaler or nebulizer. Seek guidance from your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist to ensure the correct usage of the inhaler or nebulizer. Engaging in a practice demonstration in front of them can assure that you are using the device correctly.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- stuffy or runny nose
- sore throat
- loss of appetite
- stomach pain
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- neck or back pain
- ear infections
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- white spots or sores in your mouth
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- chest pain
- fever, chills, or other signs of infection
- changes in vision
Before commencing the utilization of budesonide, inform your medical practitioner or pharmacist of any existing allergies you may have, including allergies to budesonide itself. This product may contain inert constituents, such as lactose or milk proteins present in certain brands, which have the potential to provoke allergic reactions or related complications.
Prior to initiating this medication, divulge your medical history to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any history of eye conditions, hypertension, liver ailments, thyroid disorders, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, osteoporosis, past or ongoing infections, bleeding disorders, and mental health conditions.
If you have transitioned from an orally administered corticosteroid (like prednisone tablets) to this inhaler within the last 12 months, or if you have been employing this product at higher-than-standard doses over a prolonged period, your body might exhibit reduced responsiveness to physical stressors. Notify your doctor or dentist of your usage of this medication or any oral corticosteroid within the last 12 months, should the need for surgery or emergency care arise. Swiftly report the onset of unusual or extreme fatigue, as well as weight loss. Carrying a warning card or medical ID bracelet that indicates your use of corticosteroid medications is recommended.
This medication has the potential to mask indicators of infection. It could heighten susceptibility to new infections or exacerbate existing ones. Distance yourself from individuals with contagious infections that could spread readily, such as chickenpox, COVID-19, measles, or the flu. If you’ve been exposed to an infection, consult your doctor for guidance.
Notify your healthcare professional prior to undergoing any immunizations or vaccinations while on budesonide. Avoid close contact with individuals who have recently received live vaccines, such as the nasal flu vaccine.
Long-term usage of this medication in children may temporarily slow down growth. Nonetheless, poorly controlled asthma itself can also influence growth rate. Regular medical check-ups are advised to monitor your child’s height.
During pregnancy, the usage of this medication should only be contemplated if it’s necessary. Discuss the potential risks and benefits with your doctor.
Form and Strength
Pulmicort Respules is available in the following forms and strengths:
Is Pulmicort Respules a steroid?
Yes, Pulmicort Respules is an inhaled corticosteroid that is used to prevent asthma attacks. Since you are inhaling the steroid rather than taking it orally, side effects are usually limited to your mouth and respiratory tract.
How quickly does Pulmicort Respules work?
Pulmicort Respules is not a rescue inhaler like albuterol. It works by reducing the inflammation and swelling of the airways in the lungs over time. It can take up to 2 to 6 weeks before you can feel the full effects.