Pulmicort Flexhaler, Pulmicort Respules, Pulmicort Turbuhaler

1 Budesonide (Inhalation route): A Summary

Brand Name:

 Pulmicort Flexhaler, Pulmicort Respules, Pulmicort Turbuhaler.

Budesonide, also known and sold under the trade name of Pulmicort Flexhaler, Pulmicort Respules, and Pulmicort Turbuhaler, is a product that belongs to a group of drugs known as corticosteroids.

This medication is used in order to control and prevent symptoms caused by asthma, e.g. wheezing and shortness of breath). It is considered to work by making the breathing easier and reducing the irritation and the swelling of the airways.

This medication is available in the forms of a solution, suspension, powder, aerosol powder and aerosol liquid.

2 What To Know Before Using

Before the decision to start the treatment with this medication is made, it is essential to get informed about the expected beneficial effects, as well as, about the potential risks and side effects.

For this decision to be made, the beneficial effects must outweigh the potential risks. This is a decision that you and your doctor, together, will have to make.

During the consultations, it is very important to inform the doctor about:

  • Allergic reactions – Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or not prescribed. Also, inform the healthcare professional about any allergic reactions to any specific kind of food, dye, fabric and etc.
  • Pediatric – Proper studies done have confirmed that this medication is safe to be used in pediatric patients, as well as, that there are no age – related risks and side effects. However, safety has not been established in children younger than 12 months of age. This medication is not recommended to be used in children younger than 12 months of age.
  • Geriatric – There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used in geriatric patients.
  • Pregnancy – Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy. It is unknown how would it affect the fetus. This medication is not recommended to be used during pregnancy. However, it could be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
  • Breastfeeding - Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used in nursing mothers. It is unknown if it is extracted in the milk or how would it affect the infant. This medication is not recommended to be used in nursing mothers. However, it could be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
  • Drug interactions – Inform the doctor if you are currently using any other medications, prescribed or not prescribed, even vitamins and herbal tea. This is important because certain medications are not recommended to be used in a combination with others, due to the possibility that certain interactions could occur. However, sometimes the doctor may decide to use a certain combination, including two or more medications, to treat your condition, if he or she considers that combination to prove as beneficial regarding your condition.
  • Other interactions – Certain medications are not recommended to be used in a combination with specific types of food, tobacco, and alcohol. Because of this, it is important to get informed if there is a need for you to follow a specific diet and discontinue your use of tobacco and/or alcohol during the treatment with this medication.
  • Other medical problems – Inform the doctor about your medical history, any other medical problems and conditions from the past or at the moment. Especially, inform the doctor if there are any of the following conditions present – asthma, bone problems, glaucoma, cataracts, measles, chickenpox, infections, herpes simplex, or tuberculosis.

3 Proper Usage

For proper use, follow the directions given by your doctor. This medication is available in the following forms - a solution, suspension, powder, aerosol powder and aerosol liquid.

Inhale this medication by the mouth, one or twice a day, as directed by your doctor. While inhaling the medication, remember to breathe calmly and deeply for 10 to 15 minutes.

Avoid getting the medication in the eyes.

The dose is individual for every patient, prescribed by your doctor and based on your condition. In order to get the most beneficial effects from its use, remember to apply each dose regularly.

If you forget a dose, apply it as soon as you remember. Do not double to catch up. This medication is harmful in case of an overdose. If an overdose is suspected, contact the doctor right away for further directions.

4 Precautions To Take

Visit your doctor regularly, at your scheduled appointments, so that he or she would be able to track your condition and make any adjustments if needed. These adjustments may refer to the dose – e.g. the doctor may decide to increase or decrease the dose, or to the treatment itself – the doctor may decide to discontinue your treatment if there are any serious side effects present that would worsen your condition, or if your condition does not improve.

Inform the doctor about any allergic reaction to any kind of medications, prescribed or not prescribed, even vitamins and herbal tea. This is important because this medication may contain inactive substances that could cause certain interactions to occur.

Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. This medication is not recommended to be used during pregnancy, due to the lack of studies that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy. At least two proven forms of birth control should be used during the treatment with this medication.

Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. This medication is not recommended to be used in nursing mothers, due to the lack of studies that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used in nursing mothers.

5 Potential Side Effects

Along with its needed beneficial effects, there are potential side effects that could occur. These side effects do not occur in all patients, also they could be mild or more serious.

However, it is essential to get informed about the potential side effects, so that you would be able to notice their presence and inform the doctor as soon as possible.

Common side effects

  • Dry/irritated throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Voice changes
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Runny nose
  • Nosebleeds

These are common side effects that are not considered as serious. However, if their presence persists, or worsens, inform the doctor as soon as possible.

Serious side effects

  • Unusual tiredness
  • Vision problems
  • Easy/unexplained bruising/bleeding
  • Mood changes
  • Muscle weakness/pain

These are serious side effects whose presence must be reported to the doctor as soon as possible.

A very serious allergic reaction to this medication is not common. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, inform the doctor as soon as possible

  • Skin rash
  • Itching/swelling of the face/tongue/hands/feet
  • Trouble breathing
  • Severe dizziness
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