Pulmicort

brand

What is Pulmicort?

Common Brand(s): Pulmicort

Budesonide is used to control and prevent symptoms (wheezing and shortness of breath) caused by asthma. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It works directly in the lungs to make breathing easier by reducing the irritation and swelling of the airways.

This medication must be used regularly to be effective. It does not work right away and should not be used to relieve sudden asthma attacks. If an asthma attack occurs, use your quick-relief inhaler as prescribed.

Uses

  • severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • maintenance therapy for asthma

Usage Instructions

Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. Follow the illustrated directions for the proper use of this medication. Make sure you understand how to operate the breathing machine (compressed air jet nebulizer with face mask or mouthpiece) and how to properly clean it to prevent infections. If you have any questions, consult your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist.

Do not use this medication in an ultrasonic nebulizer. Do not mix budesonide suspension with other medications in the nebulizer. A parent or other responsible adult should supervise a child who is using this machine. If you have any questions, ask your heath care professional.

Shake the container gently before use. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. This medication comes in different strengths. Check that you are using the correct strength.

Inhale this medication by mouth, usually once or twice daily or as directed by your doctor. While inhaling this medication, breathe calmly and deeply until the mist stops, usually over 5 to 10 minutes. Avoid getting the medication in the eyes.

To prevent dry mouth, hoarseness, and oral yeast infections, gargle and rinse your mouth with water after each use. Do not swallow the rinse water. Also, wash your face where the face mask/mouthpiece has touched your skin to prevent skin reactions and irritation.

Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day. Do not increase your dose, use it more frequently, or stop using this medication without first consulting your doctor.

Learn which of your inhalers/medications you should use every day (controller drugs) and which you should use if your breathing suddenly worsens (quick-relief drugs). Ask your doctor ahead of time what you should do if you have new or worsening cough or shortness of breath, wheezing, increased sputum, worsening peak flow meter readings, waking up at night with trouble breathing, if you use your quick-relief inhaler more often (more than 2 days a week), or if your quick-relief inhaler does not seem to be working well. Learn when you can treat sudden breathing problems by yourself and when you must get medical help right away.

If you are regularly taking a different corticosteroid by mouth (such as prednisone), you should not stop taking it unless directed by your doctor. Some conditions (such as asthma, allergies) may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. If you suddenly stop taking the drug, you may also have withdrawal symptoms (such as weakness, weight loss, nausea, muscle pain, headache, tiredness, dizziness). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may slowly lower the dose of your old medication after you begin using budesonide. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal. See also Precautions section.

You may notice a benefit within 2-8 days of starting this drug. It may take up to 4-6 weeks of regular use before the full benefit of this drug takes effect. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen.

Storage

Store the ampules upright in the original foil package protected from light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Store the US product at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C). Do not freeze or refrigerate. After opening the package, write the date on it. Discard all ampules 2 weeks after opening the envelope. Discard any unused liquid in open vials right away.

Store the Canadian product in the refrigerator or at room temperature between 41 to 86 degrees F (5 to 30 degrees C). Once envelope is opened, use ampuls within 3 months. Discard any unused liquid in open vials within 12 hours.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.