budesonide inhaler

How to Use a Budesonide Inhaler and Common Side Effects- A Comprehensive Review

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Budesonide inhalers are prescription inhalation devices used to manage breathing problems. Budesonide is the generic name, while common brand names include Pulmicort Respules and Pulmicort flexhaler. The former is primarily used in the treatment of asthma in children between 1 and 8 years old, while Pulmicort Flexhaler is ideal for adults and children above the age of 6 years.

Budesonide is a synthetic glucocorticoid steroid akin to the naturally occurring hormone, hydrocortisone, produced in the adrenal glands. Glucocorticoid steroids have strong anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce the inflammation and hyperactivity in the airways caused by asthma attacks.

Things You Should Know Before Using Budesonide Inhalation Suspension

It’s important to note that your airways absorb about 39% of the contents of a budesonide inhaler. Therefore, while some improvements in the symptoms of asthma can be noticed within the first 24 hours, inhaled budesonide could take weeks to achieve its optimum therapeutic benefits.

As a result, a budesonide inhalation device is not a rescue for an ongoing asthma attack. Seek medical attention if your asthma symptoms get worse abruptly.

Before Using a Budesonide Inhaler

Ensure you’re not allergic to budesonide; else, it will cause an allergic reaction. You should also avoid the inhaler if:

  • You have a severe allergic reaction to milk proteins.
  • You are currently having an asthma attack.

You should also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you’ve ever had the following medical conditions:

  • Cataracts, glaucoma, or herpes infection of the eyes.
  • Low bone mineral density.
  • Food or drug allergies.
  • Any bacterial, viral, or fungal infection.
  • Liver disease.

The doctor should also be aware if you are pregnant, breast feeding, or using other drugs.

How to Use a Budesonide Inhaler

Before you use a budesonide inhalation device, read the drug information on the prescription label, medication guide, and all other instructions that come with the drug. Your doctor might also change your prescription from time to time, so you should follow the doses as prescribed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don’t understand the prescription.

Budesonide inhalers are not a rescue for asthma attacks. Instead, they are used for an extended period to prevent attacks. You should use fast-acting inhalation powder during an attack and call your doctor if the symptoms persist.

What Are the Dosages of Budesonide Inhalers?

budesonide inh
Talk to your doctor if you don’t understand the instructions

The ideal dose of a budesonide inhaler device will depend on the user’s age and doctor’s prescription. However, here are the general guidelines:

Pulmicort Respules

This medication is used by children between 12 months and 8 years of age. Positive improvements can be seen as early as 48 hours after starting the dose, but it takes 4 to 6 weeks to achieve its maximum potential.

Common doses are 0.5 mg and 1 mg every day. However, lower dosages of 0.25mg could be sufficient for some patients.

Pulmicort Flexhaler

Pulmicort flexhaler is mostly prescribed to individuals aged 6 and older. Positive improvements can be noticed within 24 hours of use, but it takes a week or two for the inhaled budesonide to achieve its optimum therapeutic effects.

Doses vary depending on the asthma’s severity. Therefore, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist for a precise dose before using it.

Budesonide Inhaler Drug Interactions

budesonide inhaler
Pulmicort Flexhaler can be used by children aged 6 years and above

Budesonide inhalers sometimes react with other medications. As a result, it’s essential to let a health care professional know about any other drugs you are using before using the inhalation devices.

Here are some of the drugs you should avoid when using budesonide medications:

  • Seizure medications.
  • Drugs like corticosteroids that weaken your immunity.
  • Other steroids such as fluticasone, flunisolide, and mometasone.
  • Medication prescribed for a fungal infection.
budesonide nebulizer
Don’t smoke while using a budesonide inhaler

While these are the most common drugs that interact with budesonide, they are certainly not the only ones. Other over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, herbal products, and vitamins can also interact with budesonide. It’s also dangerous to smoke or use drugs while using a budesonide inhaler.

What Happens When if You Miss a Budesonide Inhaler Dose?

You should skip the missed dose and use the next dose at the prescribed time. Do not double dose to make up for the one you missed.

What if You Overdose?

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Call your doctor if you overdose on budesonide

If you take more than the prescribed dose of budesonide, call your doctor or the poison control center on their hotline.

Common Side Effects of Budesonide Inhalers

If misused, a budesonide inhaler can cause serious side effects. Seek medical attention if you have signs of allergic reactions such as severe itching, hives, sore throat, white patches on the skin, and severe chest pain.

budesonide inhaler
Seek medical attention if you have severe chest pain after using a budesonide inhaler

Other common side effects of inhaled budesonide include:

  • Vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Shivering.
  • Sneezing.
  • General muscle weakness.
  • Nausea.
  • Running nose.
  • Insomnia.

There may also be rare effects like:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Burning sensation during urination.
  • Bladder pain.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Dizziness.

High doses or prolonged use can cause thinning skin, changes in body fat (especially in the neck, face, waist, and back), and easy bruising.

Are There Alternatives for a Budesonide Inhaler?

Budesonide inhalation devices are considered some of the best treatments for asthma. However, a doctor may also prescribe medication like prednisone and mesalamine.

While these medications are effective sometimes, they don’t act directly on the lungs and airways like budesonide. They also have severe side effects, especially after prolonged use.

Compound medicine, on the other hand, allows you to enjoy all the benefits of budesonide with reduced side effects. Compound medication is a form of individualized treatment that uses FDA-approved active ingredients to make custom medication.

You might want to use compounded medicines if you’re allergic to some of the non-essential compounds in your medication, if you’re unable to use the drug in the prescribed form, or if the dosage is unavailable commercially.

Need a Reliable Budesonide Inhaler? Try FW Pharmacy

Common commercial inhalation devices often come with severe side effects or limited inhalation suspension capacity. Our pharmacists are experienced in compounding various asthma medications, including budesonide inhalers.

Contact us today and learn how compounded medications can help you recover from asthma with reduced side effects. Give us a call on 817-361-9960 or visit our pharmacy at 7833 Oakmont Blvd STE 120 Fort Worth, TX 76132

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