Inhaled budesonide is used to prevent asthma attacks. It is not used to stop an attack that has already started. For relief of an asthma attack that has already started, you or your child should use another medicine. If you do not have another medicine to use for an acute asthma attack or if you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
Use this medicine only as directed. Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. Also, do not stop taking this medicine without telling your doctor. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
In order for this medicine to help prevent asthma attacks, it must be used every day in regularly spaced doses, as ordered by your doctor. This medicine usually begins to work in about 24 to 48 hours, but up to 2 to 6 weeks may pass before you feel the full effects.
Do not change your dose or stop using this medicine without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping it completely. Some conditions may become worse when the medicine is stopped suddenly, which can be dangerous.
When using the Pulmicort Flexhaler™:
- This medicine comes as a powder that you breathe into the lungs with a special inhaler that is placed in the mouth. It is used by adults, teenagers, and children who are 6 years of age and older.
- The medicine comes with patient instructions. Read the instructions carefully before using this medicine. If you or your child do not understand the instructions or are not sure how to use the inhaler, check with your doctor.
- When you use the inhaler for the first time, it may not deliver the right amount of medicine with the first puff. Before using this medicine, test or prime it.
- Hold the inhaler so that the white cover points up, then twist the cover and lift it off. Hold the inhaler upright (mouthpiece up) using the brown grip, then twist the middle of the inhaler fully in one direction as far as it will go, and then back again in the other direction. You will hear a click. Repeat this process one more time.
- You do not have to prime it again after this, even if you have not used it for a long time.
- After the inhaler is primed, twist the cover and lift it off.
- To load a dose, hold the inhaler in the upright position, then twist the grip fully in one direction as far as it will go, and then fully back again in the other direction. You will hear a click.
- Turn your head away from the inhaler and breathe out. Do not shake the inhaler.
- Place the mouthpiece between your lips and breathe in deeply and forcefully. You may not taste or feel the medicine.
- Do not chew or bite on the mouthpiece.
- Remove the inhaler from your mouth and breathe out. Do not blow or breathe into the inhaler.
- Repeat these steps if more than one dose is needed.
- When you are finished, place the cover back on the inhaler and twist shut. Rinse your mouth with water and spit out the water. Do not swallow the water. This helps prevent hoarseness, throat irritation, and infections in the mouth.
- Do not use the inhaler if it has been damaged or if the mouthpiece has become detached.
- Do not use a spacer with the Pulmicort Flexhaler™.
- Keep the inhaler clean and dry at all times. Follow the patient directions for cleaning and storing the inhaler.
- The inhaler has a dose indicator that keeps track of how many times you can use the inhaler before you need to open a new one. Check the dose indicator just below the mouthpiece. The dose indicator usually starts with either the number 60 or 120 when full.
- Discard the whole device when all doses have been used. The inhaler is empty when the number zero appears in the middle of the dose indicator window. You will be given a new inhaler each time you refill your prescription.
When using the Pulmicort Respules® liquid:
- This medicine comes as a liquid that you breathe into the lungs with a special breathing machine called a jet nebulizer. The nebulizer has a face mask or mouthpiece. It is used by children who are 12 months to 8 years of age.
- Your doctor will tell you which type of nebulizer to use with this medicine and will show you how to use the nebulizer. The medicine and nebulizer come with patient instructions. Read the instructions carefully before using the medicine or the machine. If you or your child do not understand the instructions or are not sure how to use the nebulizer, check with your doctor.
- Use this medicine at the same time each day, unless your child's doctor tells you otherwise.
- Do not mix this liquid with other medicines.
- Open the sealed aluminum foil envelope containing the medicine. Remove one container from the strip of five plastic containers with sealed caps. Write the current date on the back of the envelope when you open the foil pouch.
- Each container has one dose of medicine.
- Place the unused containers back in the foil pouch. This will protect the medicine from light.
- Shake the container in a circular motion before using it.
- Hold the container upright and open it by twisting off the cap.
- Slowly squeeze out all of the contents of the container into the nebulizer cup. Throw the empty container away.
- If your child is using a face mask, make sure that the mask fits tightly on the face to avoid getting the medicine in the eyes.
- Turn on the compressor to begin nebulizing the medication. The nebulizer turns the medicine into a fine mist that the child breathes into the lungs using the mouthpiece or mask.
- After the dose is completed, wash your child's face to prevent skin irritation.
- Rinsing your child's mouth with water after each dose may help prevent hoarseness, throat irritation, and infections in the mouth. Do not allow your child to swallow the water after rinsing.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For preventing an asthma attack:
- For inhalation dosage form (powder inhaler):
- Adults and children 6 years of age and older—At first, one or two puffs two times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed.
- Children younger than 6 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For inhalation dosage form (suspension in a nebulizer):
- Children 12 months to 8 years of age—0.5 to 1 milligram (mg) in a nebulizer once a day, or divided and given twice a day. Each container of liquid has one dose and a new container is used for each dose.
- Infants younger than 12 months of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For inhalation dosage form (powder inhaler):
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Store the Pulmicort Flexhaler™ in a dry place at room temperature with the cover tightly in place.
Store the unused Pulmicort Respules® in an upright position at room temperature. Keep the medicine containers in the foil pouch until you are ready to use them. Do not freeze the containers. Once you have opened a foil pouch, the containers will only be good for 2 weeks. Throw away any unused containers if it has been longer than 2 weeks since you opened the pouch.