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Pulmicort Turbuhaler

Pulmicort Turbuhaler

The Pulmicort Turbohaler is an inhaler that contains a steroid medicine called Budesonide. Budesonide belongs to the Corticosteroid group of medicines.  Corticosteroids are used to treat inflammation in the body and are contained within many different types of treatment for different illnesses, for example, creams, tablets and inhalers.  The Pulmicort Turbohaler is used to reduce swelling, irritation and inflammation in the airways helping you to breathe more easily. 

Asthma is a common condition affecting both children and adults. Usually, it starts sometime during childhood but adults can also develop asthmas at any time. It is a chronic illness meaning it is ongoing and there is no cure for it. The good news is that there are a variety of treatments available which can help to control asthma, meaning you should in most cases be able to lead a normal healthy life once you have found the right medication. Asthma is punctuated with periods of flare-ups, when the condition may be harder to control so there are times when you might need more medicine than at others. One common treatment for controlling asthma symptoms is a preventative inhaler, with or without a steroid. The preventative inhalers aim to open up your airways and reduce inflammation to prevent you from struggling to breathe. 

What is the Pulmicort Turbohaler? 

The Pulmicort Turbohaler is an inhaler that contains a steroid medicine called Budesonide. Budesonide belongs to the Corticosteroid group of medicines. 

Corticosteroids are used to treat inflammation in the body and are contained within many different types of treatment for different illnesses, for example, creams, tablets and inhalers. 

The Pulmicort Turbohaler is used to reduce swelling, irritation and inflammation in the airways helping you to breathe more easily. 

When is the Pulmicort Turbohaler used? 

The Pulmicort Turbohaler is an inhaler containing the corticosteroid Busenide that used to prevent and control asthma symptoms: 

  • It is preventative inhaler meaning you have to take it regularly; 
  • It can be used by both adults and children. 

How do you use the Pulmicort Turbohaler? 

Always follow the instructions given to you by your doctor when it comes to taking any medicine and check with them if you are unsure about anything. 

To use your Turbohaler: 

  • Unscrew and remove the white cover; 
  • Hold the Turbohaler upright with the brown base at the bottom, keep it upright while using it; 
  • To load your dose of medicine into the Turbohaler, turn the brown base as far as it will go in one direction and then turn it as far as it will go in the other direction – you should hear a click when this is done and your inhaler is ready to use. 
  • Only load the Turbohaler when you are going to use it; 
  • Do not cover the mouthpiece while you are loading the Turbohaler; 
  • Breathe out gently as far as it comfortable, keeping the Turbohaler away from your mouth as you do; 
  • Then put the mouthpiece between your teeth and close your lips around it to create a seal; 
  • Breathe in deeply through your mouth as hard as you can; 
  • Take the Turbohaler out of your mouth; 
  • If you need to take a second inhalation repeat the process; 
  • Once you are finished screw the cover tightly back onto the Turbohaler; 
  • Rinse your mouth with water to help prevent throat irritation. 

A few tips: 

  • If the mouthpiece or Turbohaler is damaged do not use it; 
  • Wipe your Turbohaler once a week with a dry tissue to clean it; 
  • Do not use the Turbohaler to treat wheezing and coughing when it happens as you need a reliever inhaler for this; 
  • Remember to take this medicine regularly as it won’t work if you don’t. 
  • Do not shake the inhaler; 
  • Do not use it with a spacer; 
  • If you breathe into the Turbohaler after it has been loaded, or you drop or shake it then you will lose the dose; 
  • The Turbohaler shows you how many doses are left, when you see a red mark in the indicator window there are about 20 doses left; 
  • When the red mark reaches the bottom of the indicator window you will need to use a new Turbohaler. 

What dosages are there? 

Your doctor will aim to prescribe you the lowest dose that is sufficient to control your asthma symptoms, always follow their instructions and do not make any changes to dosage without discussing it with your doctor. 

The Pulmicort Turbohaler comes in three different strengths: 

  • 100 – containing 100 mg of budesonide per dose and 200 doses per inhaler; 
  • 200 – containing 200 mg of budesonide per dose and 100 doses per inhaler; 
  • 400 – containing 400 mg of budesonide per dose and 50 doses per inhaler. 

The Pulmicort Turbohaler should be used either once or twice a day. 

If you are taking the Turbohaler twice a day: 

Children aged 5 – 12 years: 

  • One or two inhalations twice a day, for a maximum of 800 micrograms a day; 
  • Take the inhaler in the morning and evening. 

Adults and children aged 13 or over: 

  • 1 or 2 inhalations twice a day for a maximum of 1600 micrograms a day; 
  • Take the inhaler in the morning or evening; 
  • If you find your asthma symptoms are worse and you need to take your reliever inhaler, double your dose by taking twice as many inhalations and speak to your doctor as soon as possible. 

If you have been told to take the Turbohaler once a day: 

  • Take the inhaler in the evening at the same time every day. 

Children aged 5 to 12 years: 

  • 1 or 2 inhalations for a maximum dose of 400 micrograms a day. 

Adults and children aged 13 and over: 

  • 1 or 2 inhalations for a maximum dose of 800 micrograms a day; 
  • If you find your asthma symptoms are worse and you need to take your reliever inhaler, double your dose by taking twice as many inhalations and speak to your doctor as soon as possible. 

What are the side effects of the Pulmicort Turbohaler? 

As with all medicines, the Pulmicort Turbohaler comes with a warning of some side effects, although not everyone who takes this medicine will experience them. 

The most serious side effect is an allergic reaction and this happens very rarely, affecting 1 in 1000 people. Signs of an allergic reaction include: 

  • Swelling around the face, mouth, eyes and throat; 
  • Rapid heartbeat; 
  • Sudden onset of wheezing or coughing; 
  • Rashes, hives or itching. 

If you think you are experiencing a severe allergic reaction seek immediate medical assistance. 

Another serious side effect is sudden wheezing after taking your inhaler, this happens very rarely and affects 1 in 10,000 people, again if you are concerned, seek medical assistance. 

Common side effects, affecting up to 1 in 10 people include: 

  • Sore throat; 
  • Coughing; 
  • Hoarse voice; 
  • Thrush. 

You are less likely to develop throat problems if you rinse your mouth after taking your inhaler. 

  • Pneumonia in COPD patients – look out for: 
    • Chills; 
    • Fever; 
    • Change or increase in mucus; 
    • Increased cough or breathing difficulties. 

Uncommon side effects, affecting up to 1 in 100 people include: 

  • Feeling worried or depressed; 
  • Cataracts; 
  • Muscle cramps; 
  • Shaking and trembling; 
  • Blurred vision. 

Rare side effects, affecting up to 1 in 1000 people include: 

  • Difficulty sleeping; 
  • Feeling overexcited; 
  • Irritability. 

The side effects listed above are more likely to occur in children. 

Other rare side effects: 

  • Bruising; 
  • Loss of voice. 

Using corticosteroids can also affect the normal production of steroid hormone in your body if you use a high dose over a long time. This could lead to: 

  • Glaucoma; 
  • Thinning of the bones; 
  • Slower growth rate in children; 
  • Affect on the adrenal gland. 

These effects are reduced for inhalers when compared to steroid tablets. 

When shouldn’t you use the Pulmicort Turbohaler? 

No single medicine is suitable for all people with the same condition. 

  • Do not use the Pulmicort Turbohaler if you are allergic to Budesonide or any of the other ingredients listed on the packet. 

Take special care when taking the Pulmicort Turbohaler if any of the following apple: 

  • You have a cold or chest infection; 
  • You have a lung infection; 
  • You have ever had tuberculosis; 
  • You have liver problems; 
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Does the Pulmicort Turbohaler interact with other medications? 

Always tell your doctor about any other medication you are taking, including herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements before starting a new course of treatment. This is because different medicines can interact with each other and either reduce the effectiveness of a treatment or cause further problems. 

For the Pulmicort Turbohaler, you should be particularly careful with: 

  • Medicines to treat fungal infections like itraconazole and ketoconazole; 
  • Other steroid medicines; 
  • Medicines to treat HIV like ritonavir or cobicistat. 

Where can you buy the Pulmicort Turbohaler? 

You can buy the Pulmicort Turbohaler from any reputable pharmacy so pick the pharmacy that’s most convenient for you. Especially as this is an ongoing medicine so you will need to get repeat prescriptions regularly. 

Can I get the Pulmicort Turbohaler without a prescription? 

No, you cannot buy the Pulmicort Turbohaler without a prescription – it is only prescribed to treat asthma and if you have asthma your condition should be monitored by a doctor. Steroids are strictly controlled as taking too much for too long can have serious consequences. A doctor will need to give you frequent check-ups to ensure you are taking the lowest dose to control your asthma symptoms and to ensure over the long-term that this medicine is the right choice for you. 

Sources 

Asthma UK, 2020. Steroids For Asthma. Asthma UK. Retrieved 22 April 2020, from https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/inhalers-medicines-treatments/steroids/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2d-0mLn76AIViK3tCh13AArCEAAYASAAEgKCZvD_BwESource 2 written according to APA guidelines 

Astra Zeneca 2017, 2020. Medicines.org.uk. Retrieved 4 May 2020, from: <https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.1385.pdf

NHS UK, 2018. Asthma – Treatment. nhs.uk. Retrieved 22 April 2020, from: <https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/asthma/treatment/

Rightbreathe.com. n.d. Pulmicort 100 Turbohaler (Astrazeneca UK Ltd) 200 Dose – Rightbreathe. Retrieved 4 May 2020, from: <https://www.rightbreathe.com/medicines/pulmicort-100-turbohaler-astrazeneca-uk-ltd-200-dose/> [].