A healthcare provider may prescribe budesonide inhalation to prevent asthma attacks. There are two forms of budesonide inhalation available -- an inhaler and a suspension (which is inhaled using a nebulizer). Budesonide inhalation is a type of steroid that works by going directly into the lungs to decrease the inflammation of airways that makes asthma attacks more likely. There are potential side effects of the medication, such as a runny nose, a sore throat, and coughing.
What Is Budesonide Inhalation?
Budesonide inhalation (Pulmicort®) is a prescription medication used to prevent asthma attacks. Budesonide inhalation comes in two forms -- the budesonide inhalation, and budesonide inhalation suspension that is inhaled using a nebulizer (a device that changes liquid medications into fine droplets that are inhaled into the lungs).
Brand-name budesonide inhalation is made by AstraZeneca.
How Does Budesonide Inhalation Work?
Normally, air moves easily into and out of the lungs through a network of airways. However, when you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen). This inflammation makes the airways very sensitive, and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating (see Asthma Triggers). When the airways react, a few things happen -- the muscles around these airways tighten, inflammation inside the airways increases, and the cells inside the airways produce more mucus. This narrows the airways and makes it harder to breathe.
Budesonide inhalation is an asthma medication that belongs to a group of drugs called inhaled corticosteroids, or steroids for short. Inhaled steroids go directly into the lungs and help to decrease the inflammation of airways that makes asthma attacks more likely. Because budesonide inhalation does not work quickly, it should not be used for treating an asthma attack. Rather, it is used once or twice a day in order to prevent asthma attacks.
Because budesonide inhalation is inhaled directly into the lungs, the rest of the body is exposed to lower steroid levels, compared to steroids taken by mouth. This helps reduce or eliminate many of the side effects associated with long-term steroid use.
(Click Asthma Treatment for information about other medicines used for treating asthma.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Pulmicort Flexhaler [package insert]. Wilmington, DE: AstraZeneca;2006 July.
Pulmicort Respules [package insert]. Wilmington, DE: AstraZeneca;2007 January.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed April 13, 2007.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed April 13, 2007.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. Teva announces agreement on generic Pulmicort Respules® patent challenge (11/25/2008). Teva Web site. Available at: http://www.tevapharm.com/pr/2008/pr_808.asp. Accessed December 5, 2008.
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