Pulmicort Respules

Generic Name: Budesonide

  • What is Pulmicort Respules?

    Pulmicort Respules is an anti-inflammatory steroid medication used to prevent asthma attacks. Pulmicort Respules is prescribed for children 12 months to 8 years of age. The medication is administered by nebulizer (a device that produces a fine spray).

  • What is the most important information I should know about Pulmicort Respules?

    Pulmicort Respules will not relieve an acute or life-threatening episode of asthma.

    If your child is switching to Pulmicort Respules from an oral steroid medication, the doctor will reduce the oral dosage very gradually. Taking oral steroids suppresses the natural production of steroids by the adrenal gland; it takes months for production to return to normal after the oral steroids are stopped.

    There have been reports of death during and after transfer from oral steroids to inhaled steroids; your child's doctor will monitor your child carefully during this period. People who have been taking high doses of oral steroids for an extended period of time are especially at risk, particularly when the oral steroids have been almost completely stopped. At that point, any stress from trauma, surgery, or infection (especially stomach or intestinal inflammation) is more likely to trigger adverse events.

    Patients on steroids may be more susceptible to infection. You should avoid having your child exposed to measles or chicken pox.

    Like other inhaled asthma medications, Pulmicort Respules occasionally triggers an asthma attack. If this occurs, immediately administer a fast-acting inhaled bronchodilator (such as albuterol), stop using Pulmicort Respules, and contact a doctor. Also, alert the doctor immediately if the usual doses of the child's fast-acting bronchodilator no longer work. Oral steroids may be needed temporarily.

    Since steroid medications may stunt growth in children and teenagers, the doctor will prescribe the lowest effective dose of Pulmicort and monitor your child's growth carefully.

  • Who should not take Pulmicort Respules?

    Do not take Pulmicort Respules for acute episodes of asthma.

    Children allergic to budesonide should not use Pulmicort Respules.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Pulmicort Respules?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications your child is taking before beginning treatment with Pulmicort Respules. Also, talk to your doctor about your child's complete medical history, especially if your child has liver disease.

  • 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.

    Children 12 months to 8 years: The usual dosage depends on your child's previous and/or other treatments for asthma. If fast-acting bronchodilators alone have been used previously, the usual starting dose is 0.5 milligrams (mg) daily. (A dose of 0.25 mg taken once daily may be prescribed if the child has failed to respond to nonsteroidal therapy.) The maximum long-term dosage is 0.5 mg daily.

    If inhaled steroids have been used previously, the usual starting dose is 0.5 mg once daily or twice daily in divided doses. The maximum long-term dosage is 1 mg daily.

    If oral steroids have been used previously, the usual starting dose is 1 mg daily. The maximum long-term dosage is also 1 mg daily.

    The daily dosage may be taken in a single dose or divided into 2 smaller doses if once-daily treatment does not adequately control asthma symptoms. Once asthma symptoms are controlled, the dose may be gradually lowered.

    Children already taking oral steroids will continue to do so while starting therapy with Pulmicort Respules. After 1 week, the doctor will lower the dose of the oral steroids, then gradually lower it further at 1- or 2-week intervals.

  • How should I take Pulmicort Respules?

    Use Pulmicort Respules exactly as directed. The effectiveness of Pulmicort Respules depends on its regular use. When starting therapy, carefully read the instructions that come with the medication. Asthma symptoms may begin to improve in 2-8 days; you may not see the maximum benefit for 4-6 weeks. If symptoms worsen or fail to improve, contact your doctor.

    Pulmicort Respules contain a liquid suspension of budesonide for administration with a jet nebulizer connected to a mouthpiece or facemask. Do not use an ultrasonic nebulizer, and do not mix Pulmicort Respules with other medications. Gently shake the Respules ampule in a circular motion before use. Wash your child's face after using the facemask.

  • What should I avoid while taking Pulmicort Respules?

    Avoid contact with the eyes. To decrease the risk of developing a fungal infection in the mouth, have your child rinse with water, without swallowing, after each dose.

    Avoid exposing your child to known sources of infection, including chickenpox and measles. If your child is exposed, contact your doctor immediately.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Pulmicort Respules?

    If Pulmicort Respules 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 Pulmicort Respules with the following: cimetidine, clarithromycin, erythromycin, itraconazole, or ketoconazole.

  • What are the possible side effects of Pulmicort Respules?

    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: conjunctivitis (pink eye), cough, diarrhea, fungal infection in the mouth, nasal or sinus inflammation, rash, respiratory infection, stomach or intestinal inflammation, throat inflammation, viral infection, vomiting, wheezing

  • Can I receive Pulmicort Respules if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    This medication is not intended for women of childbearing age.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Pulmicort Respules?

    Administer the dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one that was missed. Do not give two doses at once.

  • How should I store Pulmicort Respules?

    Store ampules upright at room temperature and away from light. After opening the aluminum foil envelope, return the unused ampules to the envelope to protect them from light. The shelf life of the unused ampules is 2 weeks when protected from light. Record the date of opening in the space provided on the back of the envelope. Opened ampules must be used promptly.

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