What is Pulmicort?
Pulmicort is an inhaler medicine that protects the airways from overstimulation. It contains the active ingredient budesonide, which is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid (adrenal cortex hormone). This medicine reduces hypersensitivity reactions and decreases inflammation in the lungs. Pulmicort is taken using an inhaler device and is only available on prescription.
What is Pulmicort used for?
Pulmicort makes the airways less sensitive to triggers such as smoke, pollen, pet fur, damp air or exercise. This helps prevent asthma attacks. Pulmicort is prescribed in patients with asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and other respiratory disorders. Pulmicort is a ‘preventer’, it does not work to relieve an ongoing asthma attack. For rapid relief of an asthma attack you need to use a bronchodilator (a substance that dilates the bronchi and increases airflow to the lungs).
How to use Pulmicort
This medicine is taken using an inhaler device called a Turbohaler. This device is very easy to use. Just follow these steps to take a dose:
- Take off the white cover and hold the inhaler upright;
- Turn the coloured base of the Turbohaler as far as it will go until you hear a click sound;
- Breathe out fully (not into the inhaler), put the mouthpiece in your mouth and then breathe in deeply;
- Hold your breath, remove the mouthpiece from your mouth and breathe out gently;
- Clean the mouthpiece with a tissue and put the cover back on.
- Repeat these steps if you need to take more than one dose.
To minimise the chances of side effects affecting your mouth, you should rinse your mouth with water after inhaling each dose. If you are also using a bronchodilator, you should use the bronchodilator first and then use your Turbohaler. The bronchodilator opens up the airways, which will allow more of the active ingredient to reach your lungs. See the package leaflet for more information on how to use the Turbohaler.
Pulmicort is available in the following strengths: 100 mcg, 200 mcg and 400 mcg. The doctor will recommend the right variant for you depending on your symptoms. Unless otherwise advised by a doctor, the usual dose is:
- Adults and children aged six and above: one to two inhalations of the prescribed strength, two to four times a day.
Pulmicort 400 mcg is not suitable for use in children. Always follow the prescription exactly - never use more or less than the doctor recommends. Read the package leaflet before use.
Medicines can cause side effects, although some people may not experience any. Side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine include:
- Thrush infection of the mouth and throat;
- Painful tongue or sore throat;
- Hoarse voice;
- Unpleasant taste in the mouth.
Rinse your mouth with water or clean your teeth after inhaling each dose to be sure that none of the medicine is left in the mouth. This will prevent side effects from occurring. For more information, see the package leaflet.
When not to use Pulmicort
Pulmicort is not suitable for everyone and should not be used if:
- You are allergic to budesonide or any other ingredient in this medicine.
Consult a doctor on the use of Pulmicort if you have a health condition that is not listed above or are currently on medication.
Pulmicort should not be used by pregnant or nursing women without consulting a doctor first.
Pulmicort does not affect your ability to drive.
Pulmicort does not interact with alcohol.