Pulmicort Turbuhaler

Generic Name: Budesonide

  • What is Pulmicort Turbuhaler?

    Pulmicort Turbuhaler is an anti-inflammatory steroid medication. Inhaled on a regular basis, Pulmicort Turbuhaler helps prevent asthma attacks. It is sometimes prescribed in addition to oral steroids, and may reduce or eliminate the need for them.

    Pulmicort Turbuhaler is a preventive medicine used to treat asthma in adults and children over age 6.

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

    Pulmicort Turbuhaler will not relieve an acute (sudden) or life-threatening episode of asthma.

    If you are switching to Pulmicort Turbuhaler from an oral steroid medication, your doctor will reduce your 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 oral steroids are stopped. In the meantime, the body will be unusually vulnerable to stress.

    There have been reports of death during and immediately after transfer from oral steroids to inhaled steroids. Your doctor will monitor you 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 are almost completely stopped. At that point, any stress from trauma, surgery, or infection (especially stomach or intestinal inflammation) is more likely to trigger side effects.

    If you experience a period of stress or a severe asthma attack during your switch to Pulmicort Turbuhaler, begin taking your oral medication again (in large doses) and contact your doctor immediately. Carry a medical identification card indicating that you may need additional medication during periods of stress or a severe asthma attack.

    Patients on steroids may be more susceptible to infection. Avoid exposure to measles or chickenpox.

    Like other inhaled asthma medications, Pulmicort Turbuhaler occasionally triggers an asthma attack. If this occurs, immediately use a fast-acting inhaled bronchodilator (such as albuterol), stop using Pulmicort Turbuhaler, and contact your doctor.

    Steroid medications may stunt growth in children and teenagers. Your doctor will prescribe the lowest effective dose of Pulmicort Turbuhaler and monitor the child's growth carefully.

  • Who should not take Pulmicort Turbuhaler?

    Do not use Pulmicort Turbuhaler for sudden episodes of asthma.

    If you are allergic to budesonide, you should not use Pulmicort Turbuhaler.

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

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Pulmicort Turbuhaler. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver disease, any infections, osteoporosis (thin, weak bones), have or had tuberculosis (a bacterial infection that affects the lungs), recently been exposed to chickenpox or measles, or have been taking an oral corticosteroid medicine (such as prednisone). Be sure to notify your doctor if you are planning to have surgery, become pregnant, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • 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 and children ≥6 years: The usual starting dose ranges from 200-400 micrograms (mcg) twice a day. Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your previous asthma medication and will adjust your dose accordingly.

  • How should I take Pulmicort Turbuhaler?

    Use Pulmicort Turbuhaler exactly as prescribed. Please read the Patient's Instruction for Use guide that accompanies each package of Pulmicort Turbuhaler for detailed instructions on how to properly use your inhaler.

    The effectiveness of Pulmicort Turbuhaler depends on its regular use. Asthma symptoms may begin to improve in 24 hours or you may not see the maximum benefit for 1-2 weeks or longer. If your symptoms worsen or fail to improve, contact your doctor.

    Pulmicort Turbuhaler delivers a dose of medication in dry powder form. To assure the correct dose, the inhaler must be held in an upright position, with the mouthpiece on top, during priming (to release into the air the dose that is already in the device) and loading (to charge the device with the proper dose). Before its first use, each new inhaler must be primed.

    You may not taste or sense any medication entering the lungs when inhaling from the Turbuhaler. This lack of sensation is not a cause for concern.

    To decrease the risk of developing a fungal infection in the mouth, rinse your mouth with water, without swallowing, after each dose. Do not use the inhaler with a spacer. Do not bite or chew the mouthpiece.

  • What should I avoid while taking Pulmicort Turbuhaler?

    Avoid exposing your eyes to the medication.

    Avoid exposure to infectious diseases such as chickenpox and measles. If you are exposed, contact your doctor immediately.

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

    If Pulmicort Turbuhaler is used 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 Turbuhaler with the following: clarithromycin, erythromycin, itraconazole, or ketoconazole.

  • What are the possible side effects of Pulmicort Turbuhaler?

    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: aching joints, back pain, cough, fever, "flu-like" symptoms, fungal infection in the mouth, headache, indigestion, nasal (nose) and sinus inflammation, pain, respiratory infection, sore throat, weakness

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

    Pulmicort Turbuhaler does not appear to harm the developing baby during pregnancy. Nevertheless, the possibility for harm cannot be ruled out. This medication should be used during pregnancy only if it is clearly needed.

    Steroids pass into breast milk and could affect the breastfeeding baby. Discuss with your doctor whether to discontinue breastfeeding or stop using Pulmicort Turbuhaler.

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

    If you miss a dose of Pulmicort Turbuhaler, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Pulmicort Turbuhaler?

    Keep the Pulmicort Turbuhaler clean at all times. Replace the cover securely after each opening. Store with the cover tightened in a dry place at room temperature. Discard the unit when a red mark appears in the indicator window.

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