What is Entocort EC?Entocort EC is used to treat Crohn's disease, a chronic intestinal inflammation that causes sustained diarrhea and abdominal pain. The drug contains the anti-inflammatory steroid budesonide in a special formulation that concentrates in the intestines, thereby reducing its impact on the rest of the body.
What is the most important information I should know about Entocort EC?Although Entocort EC isn't released until it reaches the intestines, it can still produce some of the side effects typical of other steroid medications, including reduced resistance to infection. Common diseases such as chickenpox and measles can be much more severe in people taking steroids. Be careful to avoid anyone who has such an infection. If, despite caution, you are exposed to one of these diseases, see your doctor immediately. You can be given a protective shot of immune globulin.
A high level of steroids in the system can lead to symptoms such as acne, easy bruising, swollen ankles, an increase in the size of the face and neck, excessive facial hair growth, irregular menstrual periods, and skin discoloration. If you develop any of these symptoms, alert your doctor.
Also check with your doctor immediately if you develop itching, rash, fever, swelling in the face or throat, or trouble breathing. These could be signs of an allergic reaction.
Because Entocort EC's effects are largely restricted to the intestines, switching to this medication from a steroid that affects the entire body can allow previously suppressed allergies to reappear. If you develop symptoms such as a runny nose or eczema, tell your doctor about it.
Also make sure the doctor knows if you have a liver condition; you may need a lower dose of Entocort EC.
Because steroids can reduce the body's natural ability to cope with stress, you may need a higher dose when you undergo any type of surgery.
Who should not take Entocort EC?You cannot take Entocort EC if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Entocort EC?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with this drug. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have tuberculosis, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, ulcers, cataracts, or high pressure in the eyes (glaucoma), or if anyone in your family has had diabetes or glaucoma. Steroids should be used with caution under these circumstances.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The recommended dosage is 9 milligrams (three 3-milligram capsules) every morning for up to 8 weeks. Your doctor may reduce the dose to 6 milligrams per day for the last 2 weeks of treatment. If symptoms return, the doctor can prescribe another 8-week course of therapy.
How should I take Entocort EC?Entocort EC capsules should be swallowed whole; do not chew or break the capsules.
What should I avoid while taking Entocort EC?Be careful to avoid anyone who an infection such as chickenpox or measles.
Grapefruit juice can increase the amount of Entocort EC in your blood stream. Do not drink grapefruit juice during your course of therapy with Entocort EC.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Entocort EC?If Entocort EC is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Entocort EC with the following: antifungal medications such as itraconazole and ketoconazole, erythromycin, indinavir, ritonavir, and saquinavir.
What are the possible side effects of Entocort EC?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: abdominal pain, back pain, dizziness, fatigue, gas, headache, indigestion, nausea, pain, respiratory infection, vomiting
Can I receive Entocort EC if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?This drug should be used during pregnancy only if its benefits outweigh the possibility of harm to the developing baby. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, notify your doctor immediately. Steroid medications do appear in breast milk. This drug is not recommended for nursing mothers.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Entocort EC?Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and resume your regular schedule.
How should I store Entocort EC?Store at room temperature. Keep the container tightly closed.