Pulmicort is inhaled into the lungs for the treatment of asthma. Asthma is a disease where the airways of your lungs become narrow and inflamed (red and swollen), making it difficult to breathe. This may be due to an allergy to house dust mites, smoke, air pollution or other things that irritate your lungs.
What is Pulmicort used for?
- Pulmicort is inhaled into the lungs for the treatment of asthma. Asthma is a disease where the airways of your lungs become narrow and inflamed (red and swollen), making it difficult to breathe. This may be due to an allergy to house dust mites, smoke, air pollution or other things that irritate your lungs.
- Pulmicort contains budesonide. This belongs to a family of medicines called corticosteroids, which are used to reduce inflammation in many parts of the body.
- Pulmicort acts directly on your airways to reduce inflammation.
Before you use Pulmicort
Do not use Pulmicort if you have an allergy to:
- any medicine containing budesonide
- any ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
- rash, itching or hives on the skin
- shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body.
Do not use Pulmicort after the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering. If it has expired or is damaged, return to your pharmacist for disposal.
Do not use Pulmicort to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
If you are not sure whether you should start using Pulmicort, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Before you start to use it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have, or have had, any of these medical conditions:
- liver problems
- tuberculosis (TB).
It may not be safe for you to take Pulmicort if you have, or have had, any of these conditions.
Tell your doctor if you currently have an infection. If you take Pulmicort while you have an infection, the medicine may hide some of the signs of an infection. This may make you think, mistakenly, that you are better or that it is not serious.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or breastfeeding. Your doctor will advise you of the risks and benefits of using Pulmicort during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you start using Pulmicort.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are using any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and Pulmicort may interfere with each other. These include:
- other corticosteroid medicines, such as tablets, asthma inhalers, nasal sprays, or eye/nose drops.
- medicines used to treat fungal infections (such as ketoconazole, itraconazole).
These medicines may be affected by Pulmicort, or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to use a different medicine. Your doctor or pharmacist will advise you.
Your doctor and pharmacist may have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while using Pulmicort.
Use with caution in
- People with a history of tuberculosis infection in the lungs.
- People suffering from a chest infection.
- People with liver problems.
Not to be used in
Pulmicort turbohaler is not recommended for children under five years of age.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- It is important that asthma is well controlled in pregnant women because severe asthma attacks can be dangerous to the pregnancy. Wherever possible, asthma medications should be taken by inhaler, as this minimises the amount of medicine that enters the bloodstream and crosses the placenta. It is generally considered that asthma inhalers can be taken as usual during pregnancy. For further medical advice talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
- Beclometasone may pass into breast milk. However, in general, asthma inhalers can be used as normal during breastfeeding, because the amount of medicine that passes into the breast milk after using an inhaler is negligable and unlikely to harm the baby. Seek further medical advice from your doctor.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- Thrush infection of the mouth and throat (oral thrush). This can usually be avoided by rinsing the mouth out with water and spitting it out immediately after each time you use your inhaler. If you do get oral thrush your doctor can prescribe an antifungal medicine to treat it.
- Throat irritation.
- Hoarse voice.
- Anxiety, depression or sleep disturbances.
- Behavioural changes, including hyperactivity, aggression and irritability (mostly in children).
- Bruising of the skin.
- Unexpected narrowing of the airways (paradoxical bronchospasm - see warning section above).
- Hypersensitivity reactions such as swelling of the lips, throat and tongue (angioedema), itchy blistering rash or anaphylactic shock.
- Systemic steroid effects such as Cushing's syndrome (moon-shaped face), suppression of the adrenal glands, cataracts, glaucoma, slowed growth in children and adolescents or decreased bone mineral density may occur, usually only after taking high doses for prolonged periods of time - see warning section above.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start using this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while using this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.
The following medicines may reduce the breakdown of any budesonide that is absorbed into the body and so may increase the risk of its side effects:
- protease inhibitors for HIV infection, eg ritonavir
- Other medicines containing the same active ingredient
- Budelin novolizer.
- Easyhaler budesonide.
Budesonide dry powder inhalers and nebuliser solutions are also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.
Symbicort turbohaler and DuoResp Spiromax inhaler both contain budesonide in combination with a medicine that opens the airways, called formoterol.
As budesonide reduces inflammation, it is also found in various other medicines that are used to treat inflammatory conditions in other parts of the body. These include Rhinocort aqua nasal spray for hayfever and Budenofalk capsules and rectal foam for inflammatory bowel disease.
If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.
Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note: We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.