Precautions and Warnings With Budesonide Inhalation
The precautions and warnings with budesonide inhalation should be fully understood before taking the medication. It is important to know that budesonide inhalation may potentially worsen asthma symptoms, suppress the immune system, or cause glaucoma or cataracts. Budesonide inhalation is not suitable for everyone; you should not use the medication if you are allergic to budesonide inhalation or any of the inactive ingredients used to make the medicine.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking budesonide inhalation (Pulmicort®) if you have:
- Not had chickenpox or the measles (or have not been vaccinated against them)
- Tuberculosis, herpes, or any other infections
- Glaucoma or cataracts
- Any allergies, including allergies to food (especially milk), dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with budesonide inhalation include the following:
- If you are switching from an oral steroid to budesonide inhalation (which is an inhaled steroid), your healthcare provider should decrease your dose of the oral steroid very slowly. Stopping an oral steroid too quickly can be very dangerous.
- Budesonide inhalation is not a fast-acting asthma medication and cannot replace fast-acting rescue inhalers. Do not use budesonide inhalation to treat an asthma attack. Everyone taking budesonide inhalation should also have a rescue asthma medication available at all times. Let your healthcare provider know if you need to use your rescue inhaler more frequently than usual, as this may be a sign of worsening asthma.
- Budesonide inhalation can immediately cause your asthma symptoms to become worse. If this happens, use your rescue inhaler (such as albuterol) as needed and contact your healthcare provider for further instruction.
- Budesonide inhalation is a steroid and may suppress the immune system. Although this is more likely to occur with oral steroids, it is still possible with inhaled steroids (such as budesonide inhalation). Therefore, you may be at a higher risk for infections. Certain infections (such as chickenpox or the measles) may be more dangerous if you are taking budesonide inhalation. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you are exposed to chickenpox or the measles (if you have not had these infections and have not been vaccinated against them).
- Like all steroids, budesonide inhalation may slow the growth in children and teenagers. Usually, this slowing of growth is small, with children growing about one centimeter less per year. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you are concerned about slow growth in your child.
- Inhaled steroids (including budesonide inhalation) can cause glaucoma or cataracts (conditions of the eyes).
- Before starting budesonide inhalation, be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you currently have any type of infection. Also, let your healthcare provider know if you have ever had tuberculosis or a herpes infection of the eye, as budesonide inhalation may weaken the immune system, allowing these infections to worsen.
- Budesonide inhalation can interact with other medications (see Drug Interactions With Budesonide Inhalation).
- Budesonide inhalation is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use in pregnant women, although the full risks are not known. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using budesonide inhalation during pregnancy (see Pulmicort and Pregnancy for more information).
- It is not known if inhaled budesonide (the active ingredient of budesonide inhalation) passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using budesonide inhalation (see Pulmicort and Breastfeeding for more information).