Pulmicort is a brand-name prescription drug that’s approved to treat asthma in adults and children. Asthma is a long-term condition that’s caused by inflammation in your airways.

Pulmicort contains the active drug budesonide. It belongs to a class of drugs called corticosteroids. It’s known as a maintenance treatment, because it works over time to reduce inflammation in your airways and control asthma symptoms. Pulmicort is meant to be taken consistently each day, even when you don’t have asthma symptoms.

You shouldn’t use Pulmicort to treat an asthma attack (sudden asthma symptoms) because it won’t work to quickly improve your breathing. Instead, you’ll need to use a rescue medication, such as albuterol, which quickly opens up your airways and helps you breathe more easily. Make sure to always carry your rescue inhaler with you in case you need it for sudden breathing problems.

Pulmicort comes in the following forms, which are each taken by inhalation (breathed into your lungs):

  • Pulmicort Flexhaler. This form is a dry powder that’s taken as puffs using an inhaler called the Flexhaler. It’s available in two strengths: 90 mcg per puff and 180 mcg per puff.
  • Pulmicort Respules. This form is a liquid that comes inside respules (small plastic containers). It’s taken using a nebulizer (a machine that changes the liquid into a mist that can be inhaled). Pulmicort Respules are available in three strengths: 0.25 mg/2 mL, 0.5 mg/2 mL, and 1 mg/2 mL.

Pulmicort Flexhaler can be prescribed for adults and children ages 6 years and older. Pulmicort Respules can be prescribed for children ages 12 months to 8 years. However, the respules aren’t approved for use in people older than 8 years of age.

Effectiveness

Pulmicort Flexhaler and Pulmicort Respules were each effective in treating asthma during clinical studies. For more information about Pulmicort’s effectiveness, see the “Pulmicort uses” section below.

Pulmicort contains the active drug budesonide.

Generic forms of Pulmicort Respules are available. (A generic drug is an exact copy of a brand-name medication. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.) Generic forms of Pulmicort Respules come in the same strengths as the brand-name respules do.

Pulmicort Flexhaler isn’t currently available in generic form.

Pulmicort can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Pulmicort. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Pulmicort, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs they have approved. If you would like to report to the FDA a side effect you’ve had with Pulmicort, you can do so through MedWatch.

More common side effects

These lists contain examples of more common side effects that can occur with Pulmicort Flexhaler, with Pulmicort Respules, or with both drugs (when they’re used individually).

  • Can occur with Pulmicort Flexhaler:
    • sore nose and throat
    • nausea
    • hay fever (nasal allergies)
  • Can occur with Pulmicort Respules:
  • Can occur with both Pulmicort Flexhaler and Pulmicort Respules:
    • runny nose
    • stuffy nose
    • respiratory infections, such as the common cold
    • ear infections
    • viral gastroenteritis (inflammation in your stomach and intestine that’s caused by a virus)
    • oral thrush (fungal infection in your mouth and throat); see the “Side effect details” section below for more information

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Pulmicort aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects of both Pulmicort Flexhaler and Pulmicort Respules and possible symptoms can include:

  • Paradoxical bronchospasm (tightening in your airway that’s unexpected because the drug is meant to relax your airway). Symptoms can include:
    • trouble drawing air into your lungs
    • wheezing
    • coughing
    • tightness or pain in your chest
  • Increased risk of infections. Symptoms of infection can vary depending on what type of infection you have, but they may include:
    • fever
    • chills
    • aches and pains
    • feeling tired
    • nausea and vomiting
    • diarrhea
    • rash
  • Reduced bone mineral density (weakened bones) with long-term use of the drug. Symptoms can include:
    • back pain
    • breaking your bones more easily than usual
    • losing height over time
  • Slowed growth in children and teenagers.

Other serious side effects, which are discussed in more detail below in “Side effect details,” include:

  • severe allergic reaction
  • eye problems, such as glaucoma and cataracts, with long-term use of the drug
  • adrenal insufficiency (reduced ability of your adrenal glands to make natural steroid hormones)

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug, or whether certain side effects pertain to it.Here’s some detail on several of the side effects that either Pulmicort Flexhaler or Pulmicort Respules may or may not cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Pulmicort. But it’s not known how often people using Pulmicort have allergic reactions to the drug.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth and redness in your skin)
  • chest pain
  • anxiety

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have a severe allergic reaction to Pulmicort. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Nasal irritation

You may have nasal irritation, called rhinitis, when you’re using Pulmicort. With rhinitis, the lining inside your nose is inflamed. This can cause congestion, or a stuffy or runny nose.

In clinical studies of Pulmicort Flexhaler, nasal congestion was reported in 2.7% of people using the drug. In comparison, nasal congestion occurred in 0.4% of people using a placebo (treatment with no active drug).

And allergic rhinitis (also called hay fever) was reported in 2.2% of people using Pulmicort Flexhaler. Of people using a placebo, hay fever was reported in 1.3%.

In clinical studies of Pulmicort Respules at varying doses, rhinitis was reported in 7% to 12% of children using the drug. Of children using a placebo, 9% had rhinitis.

If you have nasal irritation while you’re using Pulmicort, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may recommend medications that can help relieve your symptoms.

Thrush

It’s possible to develop a fungal infection in your mouth and throat while you’re using Pulmicort. This type of infection is called oral thrush.

Symptoms of oral thrush can include:

  • white- or cream-colored spots on the inside of your mouth or throat
  • white-colored film on your tongue
  • redness or soreness inside your mouth or throat
  • trouble swallowing
  • cracks in the skin at the corners of your mouth

In clinical studies of Pulmicort Flexhaler, oral thrush was reported in 1.3% of adults and children using the drug. In comparison, 0.4% of people using a placebo had oral thrush.

In clinical studies of Pulmicort Respules, at varying doses, oral thrush was reported in 3% to 4% of children using the drug. This side effect was reported in 2% of children using a placebo (treatment with no active drug).

To lower your risk of oral thrush, after each use of Pulmicort, be sure to rinse your mouth with water and spit it out.

If you develop symptoms of oral thrush, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. This infection can be easily treated with an antifungal medication. And you can usually keep using Pulmicort while the infection is being treated. But you should always follow the instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Eye problems

If you use Pulmicort for long periods of time, you may develop eye problems. These problems can include glaucoma (increased pressure inside your eye) and cataracts (cloudiness in the lens of your eye). It’s not known how often these eye problems occur in people using Pulmicort.

Symptoms of these eye problems can include:

  • eye pain
  • headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • clouded or blurred vision
  • blind spots
  • trouble seeing at night
  • seeing “halos” around lights
  • increased sensitivity to light and glare

If you use Pulmicort over a long period of time, your doctor may recommend that you have eye exams regularly. But if you have any symptoms of eye problems or trouble with your vision, see your doctor right away. They may recommend that you visit an eye specialist for a detailed exam of your eyes.

Adrenal insufficiency

If you take high doses of steroids over long periods of time, you may develop adrenal insufficiency. This condition can be caused by using either inhaled corticosteroids, such as Pulmicort, or oral steroids, such as prednisone. (Oral drugs are given by mouth.)

With adrenal insufficiency, your adrenal glands don’t make the hormone cortisol as usual. This happens because your body mistakes the steroid medication you’re taking for natural cortisol.

Cortisol is a natural steroid hormone that’s vital for helping your body respond to stressors. Examples of stressors can include serious illness, infections, injury, or surgery.

Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency can include:

Adrenal insufficiency may also occur if you stop taking oral corticosteroids while you’re switching to an inhaled corticosteroid, such as Pulmicort. If this happens, you might need to take a high dose of an oral steroid to help your body function properly during the transition.

If you have adrenal insufficiency, you may also need to carry a medical alert card. The card should state that you may need to receive extra steroids during an asthma attack if your symptoms aren’t getting better with a rescue treatment.* Carrying a medical alert card will help notify healthcare providers of your condition in case you’re unable to tell them about it.

If you have concerns about adrenal insufficiency while you’re taking Pulmicort, talk with your doctor.

* Rescue treatments are medications that are used to treat asthma attacks (sudden breathing problems). They work quickly to make it easier to breathe.

Side effects in infants and toddlers

Pulmicort Respules were approved for use based on three clinical studies. (Pulmicort Respules are approved for use in children ages 12 months to 8 years.)

These studies looked at 945 children ages 12 months to 8 years. This included 98 infants (ages 12 months to 2 years) and 225 toddlers (ages 2 to 4 years). The studies didn’t report that any side effects were more common in any particular age group of children.

Overall, the most common side effects in children taking Pulmicort Respules occurred at a similar rate as side effects in children taking a placebo. (A placebo is a treatment that contains no active drug).

Pulmicort’s effect on growth rates in children

In clinical studies, inhaled corticosteroids such as Pulmicort have been shown to slow growth in children and teenagers. For example, one review of studies found that, on average, children’s growth is slowed by about 0.5 cm in the first year while they’re using an inhaled corticosteroid. After this period of time, the drug’s effect on the children’s growth is lowered.

One of these studies looked at children who were treated with budesonide (the active drug in Pulmicort). The study followed the children all the way into their adulthood. And it showed that children who took budesonide for an average of 4.3 years before puberty were, on average, 1.2 cm shorter as adults than were children who took a placebo.

Your doctor may want to monitor your child’s height while they’re taking Pulmicort. To help reduce the risk of slowed growth and other possible side effects, the lowest possible dosage of Pulmicort that controls the child’s asthma symptoms should be used.

If you’re concerned about the effect that Pulmicort may have on your child’s growth, or any other side effects they may have while taking the drug, talk with your doctor.

The Pulmicort dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the severity of the condition you’re using Pulmicort to treat
  • your age
  • the form of Pulmicort that you take
  • other medical conditions you may have

Typically, your doctor will adjust your dose over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Pulmicort comes in the following two forms, which are each taken by inhalation (breathed into your lungs):

  • Pulmicort Flexhaler. This form is a dry powder that’s taken as puffs using an inhaler called the Flexhaler. It’s available in two strengths: 90 mcg per puff and 180 mcg per puff.
  • Pulmicort Respules. This form is a liquid that comes inside respules (small plastic containers). It’s taken using a nebulizer (a machine that changes the liquid into a mist that can be inhaled). Pulmicort respules are available in three strengths: 0.25 mg/2 mL, 0.5 mg/2 mL, and 1 mg/2 mL.

Dosage of Pulmicort Flexhaler

The typical dosage of Pulmicort Flexhaler for adults and children ages 6 years and older with asthma is described below.

The number of puffs you’ll need to take for each dose depends on which strength of Pulmicort Flexhaler you’re using. It also depends on the dose you’ve been prescribed. For example, if you’re using a 90-mcg strength Pulmicort Flexhaler, and you’ve been prescribed a dosage of 180 mcg twice daily, you’ll need to take two puffs of the drug twice each day.

Dosage in adults with asthma

The usual dosage of Pulmicort Flexhaler for adults ages 18 years and older is 180 mcg to 360 mcg taken by inhalation (breathed into your lungs) twice daily. The maximum dosage of Pulmicort Flexhaler in adults is 720 mcg twice daily.

Dosage in children with asthma

The usual dosage of Pulmicort Flexhaler for children ages 6 to 17 years is 180 mcg to 360 mcg taken by inhalation twice daily. The maximum dosage of Pulmicort Flexhaler in children is 360 mcg twice daily.

Dosage of Pulmicort Respules for children

Pulmicort Respules are approved for use in children ages 12 months to 8 years. The usual dosage of Pulmicort Respules for children with asthma varies. It can range from 0.5 mg once daily or 0.25 mg twice daily, up to a maximum dosage of 0.5 mg twice daily or 1 mg once daily.

What if I miss a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Pulmicort, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time for your next dose. If that’s the case, just skip the missed dose and take your next scheduled dose as prescribed. Don’t take more than one dose at a time to make up for a missed dose.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try setting a reminder on your phone. A medication timer may be useful, too.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Pulmicort is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Pulmicort is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

Also, don’t stop using Pulmicort unless your doctor tells you to do so. It’s important to continue taking the drug even if you’re not having any asthma symptoms. Pulmicort works over time to control asthma symptoms, but it doesn’t cure the condition. The effectiveness of Pulmicort depends on regular use of the drug. If you stop using Pulmicort, your asthma symptoms could worsen.

You should take Pulmicort according to your doctor’s or healthcare provider’s instructions.

How to use Pulmicort Flexhaler

Pulmicort Flexhaler comes as a powder that’s taken in puffs from an inhaler called the Flexhaler. To take Pulmicort Flexhaler, you’ll first twist the base of the inhaler to load the dose. Then to inhale the drug, you’ll forcefully take in a deep breath through the mouthpiece of the inhaler.

You may not feel the medication entering your lungs when you’re using the inhaler. But it likely has, so don’t repeat the dose even if you’re unsure if the drug reached your lungs.

Your healthcare provider or pharmacist will show you how to use the Pulmicort Flexhaler correctly.

You can also see detailed instructions or watch an instructional video on the manufacturer’s website.

When to use Pulmicort Flexhaler

Most people will use Pulmicort Flexhaler twice each day, by taking the drug once in the morning and once in the evening. If you’re using Pulmicort Flexhaler, your doctor will tell you how many puffs you’ll need to take for each dose.

If you have very mild asthma, and you only have symptoms a few times each month, your doctor might recommend that you don’t use Pulmicort Flexhaler every day. If this is the case, your doctor can recommend how often you’ll need to use this drug.

How to use Pulmicort Respules

Pulmicort Respules are small plastic containers that hold a liquid form of Pulmicort. The respules should be taken using a jet nebulizer that’s connected to an air compressor. (A nebulizer turns the liquid medication that’s held in the respules into a mist that you can inhale.) With nebulizer treatments, the medication can be easily inhaled through the mouthpiece or face mask that’s connected to the nebulizer.

You can read more about how to take Pulmicort Respules on the manufacturer’s website. Your healthcare provider or pharmacist will also show you how to use Pulmicort Respules correctly.

Note: You shouldn’t swallow the medication inside Pulmicort Respules. Also, don’t use the respules with an ultrasonic nebulizer. The respules should only be taken using a jet nebulizer.

When to use Pulmicort Respules

Pulmicort Respules are generally used either once or twice every day. Your doctor will recommend how often you’ll need to use the medication. Be sure to always follow their instructions.

Important points about using Pulmicort

Whether you’re using Pulmicort Flexhaler or Pulmicort Respules, there a few important things you should keep in mind:

  • After taking each dose of Pulmicort, rinse your mouth with water and spit it out. This lowers your risk of getting oral thrush (a fungal infection in your mouth and throat). Oral thrush is a possible side effect of inhaled corticosteroids, such as Pulmicort. For more information about this condition, see the section “Pulmicort side effects” above.
  • If you have sudden breathing problems just after inhaling your dose of Pulmicort, use your rescue inhaler right away. And don’t use Pulmicort again. Call your doctor as soon as possible and talk with them about alternative treatment options.
  • Don’t use Pulmicort to relieve sudden breathing problems. Instead, you’ll need to use a rescue inhaler, such as albuterol. Rescue inhalers work to quickly improve breathing symptoms. While you’re using Pulmicort, keep your rescue inhaler with you at all times in case you have sudden breathing problems.
  • If you need to use your rescue inhaler more often than usual during Pulmicort treatment, call your doctor as soon as possible. They can recommend whether you should continue using Pulmicort.
  • If your rescue inhaler doesn’t relieve sudden breathing symptoms, and you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Other drugs are available that can treat asthma. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Pulmicort, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Pulmicort belongs to a class of drugs called corticosteroids. It’s known as maintenance treatment, because it’s taken every day to help keep your asthma symptoms under control.

Examples of other maintenance drugs that may be used for asthma include:

  • inhaled corticosteroids other than Pulmicort, such as:
    • fluticasone propionate (Flovent HFA)
    • ciclesonide (Alvesco)
    • beclomethasone dipropionate HFA (Qvar)
    • mometasone furoate (Asmanex)
    • fluticasone furoate (Arnuity Ellipta)
  • long-acting beta2-agonists (LABAs), such as:
    • tiotropium bromide (Spiriva Respimat)
    • salmeterol xinafoate (Serevent Diskus)
  • leukotriene modifiers, such as:
    • zafirlukast (Accolate)
    • zileuton (Zyflo)
  • inhalers that contain a combination of drugs, such as:
    • fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (Advair)
    • mometasone furoate/formoterol fumarate (Dulera)

You may wonder how Pulmicort compares to other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Pulmicort and Symbicort are alike and different.

Ingredients

Both Pulmicort and Symbicort contain the active drug budesonide. However, Symbicort also contains the active drug formoterol fumarate.

Budesonide is a corticosteroid that reduces inflammation in your lungs. Formoterol fumarate is a bronchodilator, which works by opening up your airways. It’s a type of drug called a long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA). Both budesonide and formoterol work to make it easier for you to breathe.

Uses

Pulmicort and Symbicort are each used for maintenance (long-term) treatment of asthma. They’re both called maintenance treatments, because when used consistently, they help to keep your asthma symptoms under control.

Depending on the form of Pulmicort used, it can be prescribed for adults and children ages 12 months and older. However, Symbicort is approved for use in adults and children ages 6 years and older.

In addition to treating asthma, Symbicort is approved to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This condition includes lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. For this use, Symbicort is prescribed for long-term maintenance treatment of COPD. It’s also used to reduce symptom flare-ups.

Both of the available strengths of Symbicort are approved to treat asthma. But only one strength is approved to treat COPD.

Drug forms and administration

Pulmicort comes in the following two forms, which are each taken by inhalation (breathed into your lungs):

  • Pulmicort Flexhaler. This form is a dry powder that’s taken as puffs using an inhaler called the Flexhaler. It’s used twice every day.
  • Pulmicort Respules. This form is a liquid that comes inside small plastic containers called respules. It’s taken using a nebulizer (a machine that changes the liquid into a mist that can be inhaled). It may be used once or twice every day.

Symbicort only comes in one form. It’s available as an aerosol spray that’s taken using a metered dose inhaler (MDI). With an MDI, the medication is released in puffs that can be inhaled. It’s usually taken twice each day.

Side effects and risks

Pulmicort and Symbicort both contain a corticosteroid, but Symbicort also contains the LABA drug formoterol. Therefore, these medications can cause some similar and some different side effects. Below are examples of these side effects, when each of the drugs are used in people with asthma.

Note: Depending on whether you’re taking Pulmicort Flexhaler or Pulmicort Respules, your side effects may vary from those listed below.

More common side effects

These lists contain examples of more common side effects that can occur with Pulmicort, with Symbicort, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Pulmicort:
    • runny nose
    • ear infections
    • gastroenteritis (inflammation in your stomach and intestine that’s caused by a virus)
    • nosebleeds
  • Can occur with Symbicort:
    • throat irritation or pain
    • sinusitis (inflammation in your sinuses)
    • headache
    • vomiting
    • stomach problems, such as belly pain or upset stomach
    • back pain
    • influenza (the flu)
  • Can occur with both Pulmicort and Symbicort:
    • respiratory infections, such as the common cold
    • stuffy nose

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Pulmicort, with Symbicort, or with both Pulmicort and Symbicort (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Pulmicort:
    • no unique serious side effects
  • Can occur with Symbicort:
  • Can occur with both Pulmicort and Symbicort:
    • oral thrush (fungal infection in your mouth and throat)
    • increased risk of infections
    • reduced bone mineral density (weakened bones) with long-term use of either drug
    • eye problems, with long-term use of either drug; these could include glaucoma (increased pressure in your eye) and cataracts (cloudiness in the lens of your eye)
    • adrenal insufficiency (reduced ability of your adrenal glands to make natural steroid hormones)
    • slowed growth in children and teenagers
    • severe allergic reaction
    • paradoxical bronchospasm (tightening in your airway that’s unexpected because the drug is meant to relax your airway)

Effectiveness

Pulmicort and Symbicort have different approved uses, but they’re both used to treat asthma.

The use of Pulmicort and Symbicort for maintenance treatment of asthma has been directly compared in two clinical studies. The studies involved adults and children ages 12 years and older. Both studies found that over 12 weeks of treatment, Symbicort improved people’s lung function more than Pulmicort did.

In the studies, people’s lung function was evaluated by measuring their forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1). FEV1 is the amount of air that you can forcefully breathe out of your lungs in 1 second. FEV1 is lower in people with asthma than it is in people with healthy lungs.

Researchers measured people’s FEV1 before they took a dose of either medication. In one of the studies, over 12 weeks of treatment, Symbicort increased people’s pre-dose FEV1 by an average of 0.19 L. Over the same treatment period, Pulmicort increased people’s pre-dose FEV1 by an average of 0.1 L.

The studies also showed that Symbicort reduced asthma symptoms and people’s need to use a rescue medication more than Pulmicort did.

Costs

Pulmicort and Symbicort are both brand-name drugs. Generic forms of Pulmicort Respules are available. However, there is currently no generic form of Pulmicort Flexhaler or Symbicort available. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

You can view cost estimates for both Pulmicort and Symbicort on GoodRx.com. But keep in mind that the price you’ll pay depends on your prescribed dosage of either drug. It will also vary depending on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you choose.

Like Symbicort, which is discussed above, other medications are prescribed for uses similar to Pulmicort’s. Here we look at how Pulmicort and Flovent are alike and different.

Ingredients

Pulmicort contains the active drug budesonide, while Flovent contains the active drug fluticasone. These drugs are both corticosteroids that work by reducing inflammation in your lungs.

Uses

Pulmicort and Flovent are each used for maintenance (long-term) treatment of asthma. They’re both known as maintenance treatments, because they work over time to control your asthma symptoms. Both Pulmicort and Flovent are meant to be used consistently each day.

Depending on the form of Pulmicort used, it can be prescribed for adults and children ages 12 months and older. However, Flovent is approved for use in adults and children ages 4 years and older.

Drug forms and administration

Pulmicort comes in the following two forms, which are each taken by inhalation (breathed into your lungs):

  • Pulmicort Flexhaler. This form is a dry powder that’s taken as puffs using an inhaler called the Flexhaler. It’s used twice every day.
  • Pulmicort Respules. This form is a liquid that comes inside respules (small plastic containers). It’s taken using a nebulizer (a machine that changes the liquid into a mist that can be inhaled). It may be used once or twice every day.

Flovent also comes in two forms, which are each taken by inhalation:

  • Flovent HFA. This form is an aerosol spray that’s taken using a metered dose inhaler (MDI). It’s used twice every day.
  • Flovent Diskus. This form is a dry powder that’s taken as puffs through an inhaler. It’s used twice every day.

Side effects and risks

Pulmicort and Flovent both contain a corticosteroid. Therefore, these medications can cause very similar side effects. Below are examples of these side effects.

Note: Depending on which form of either Pulmicort or Flovent that you’re taking, your side effects may vary from those listed below.

More common side effects

These lists contain examples of more common side effects that can occur with Pulmicort, with Flovent, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Pulmicort:
    • runny nose
    • stuffy nose
    • ear infections
    • gastroenteritis (inflammation of your stomach and intestine that’s caused by a virus)
    • nosebleeds
  • Can occur with Flovent:
    • throat irritation
    • sinusitis (inflammation in your sinuses)
    • bronchitis
    • headache
  • Can occur with both Pulmicort and Flovent:
    • respiratory infections, such as the common cold
    • cough

Serious side effects

The following list contains examples of serious side effects that can occur with either Pulmicort or Flovent (when they’re taken individually).

  • oral thrush (fungal infection in your mouth and throat)
  • increased risk of infections
  • reduced bone mineral density (weakened bones) with long-term use of either drug
  • eye problems, with long-term use of either drug; these could include glaucoma (increased pressure in your eye) and cataracts (cloudiness in the lens of your eye)
  • adrenal insufficiency (reduced ability of your adrenal glands to make natural steroid hormones)
  • slowed growth in children and teenagers
  • severe allergic reaction
  • paradoxical bronchospasm (tightening in your airway that’s unexpected because the drug is meant to relax your airway)

Effectiveness

The only condition that both Pulmicort and Flovent are approved to treat is asthma.

The use of Pulmicort and Flovent in treating asthma has been compared in several studies. A review of these studies found Flovent to be at least as effective as Pulmicort in opening people’s airways and making it easier for them to breathe. This finding was seen when Flovent was given at half the dose that Pulmicort was given.

However, when each drug was given at the same dose, Flovent improved people’s lung function slightly more than Pulmicort did. But there wasn’t enough evidence to say if one drug was better than the other in reducing asthma symptoms. In fact, in current guidelines, both drugs are recommended as options for maintenance treatment of asthma.

Costs

Pulmicort and Flovent are both brand-name drugs. Generic forms of Pulmicort Respules are available. However, there’s currently no generic form of either Pulmicort Flexhaler or Flovent. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

You can view cost estimates for both Pulmicort and Flovent on GoodRx.com. Keep in mind that the price you’ll pay depends on your prescribed dosage of either drug. It will also vary depending on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you choose.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Pulmicort to treat certain conditions. Pulmicort may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.

Pulmicort for asthma

Pulmicort is FDA-approved for the maintenance treatment of asthma. With maintenance treatment, you’ll use the medication long term, every day.

Pulmicort is called a maintenance treatment. This means that when used consistently over time, it works to control asthma symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing. The drug also helps to prevent sudden breathing problems. Pulmicort works by reducing inflammation in your lungs.

Current asthma treatment guidelines recommend that all people with asthma use an inhaled corticosteroid, such as Pulmicort, as a maintenance treatment. Doing so has been shown to reduce people’s asthma symptoms and improve how well their lungs work. It also reduces their risk of having asthma attacks (symptom flare-ups).

Most people using Pulmicort take the drug consistently each day as their maintenance treatment.

Effectiveness

In clinical studies, both Pulmicort Flexhaler and Pulmicort Respules were effective in treating asthma. Some of the results from these studies are reviewed below.

Effectiveness of Pulmicort Flexhaler

In two clinical studies, Pulmicort Flexhaler was effective in improving lung function.

In the studies, researchers evaluated people’s lung function by measuring their forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1). FEV1 is the amount of air that you can forcefully breathe out of your lungs in 1 second. FEV1 is lower in people with asthma than it is in people with healthy lungs.

The first study looked at adults with mild to moderate asthma. People in the study were given either Pulmicort Flexhaler or a placebo inhaler, which contained no active drug. Over 12 weeks, treatment with Pulmicort Flexhaler increased people’s FEV1 by an average of 0.28 L. Over the same period of time, treatment with the placebo inhaler increased people’s FEV1 by an average of 0.1 L.

The second study looked at children ages 6 to 17 years with mild asthma. In this study, a value called percent (%) predicted FEV1 was measured. Your % predicted FEV1 compares your FEV1 with the average FEV1 in healthy people of the same age, weight, height, and race. If your % predicted FEV1 increases, it shows that your lungs are working better than they did when you had a lower % predicted FEV1.

In this study, the children’s average % predicted FEV1 was 84.9%. Over 12 weeks of treatment with Pulmicort Flexhaler, their average % predicted FEV1 was increased by 5.6%. Children taking a placebo inhaler had their average % predicted FEV1 increased by 0.2% over the same period of time.

Effectiveness of Pulmicort Respules

Three clinical studies found Pulmicort Respules to be effective in treating mild to moderate asthma in children ages 12 months to 8 years.

Over 12 weeks of treatment, children were given either Pulmicort Respules or a placebo (treatment with no active drug). The studies found that children using Pulmicort Respules had significantly fewer nighttime and daytime asthma symptoms than did children who were using the placebo.

Off-label uses for Pulmicort

In addition to the use listed above, Pulmicort may be used off-label. Off-label drug use is when a drug that’s approved for one use is used for a different one that’s not approved.

Pulmicort for COPD

Pulmicort Respules aren’t approved to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). But sometimes they’re used off-label in adults to treat COPD flare-ups (increase in symptoms).

COPD is a group of chronic (long-term) lung diseases that worsen over time. These diseases include chronic bronchitis and emphysema. People with COPD have damaged, inflamed, and narrowed airways. This condition causes trouble breathing. COPD flare-ups are often caused by having a chest infection.

COPD flare-ups are typically treated in a hospital with medications, such as antibiotics and corticosteroids. These medications can be given by mouth or as injections. But current guidelines recommend that nebulized budesonide (for example, Pulmicort Respules) could be used instead of oral or injected corticosteroids when managing COPD flare-ups in some people.

If you’d like to know more about using Pulmicort for COPD treatment, talk with your doctor.

Pulmicort for cough

Pulmicort Respules aren’t approved to treat cough that’s not caused by asthma. But sometimes this drug is used off-label to treat cough caused by croup in infants and children.

Croup is an infection in the throat and upper airways that causes a barking cough. With croup, you have swelling around your windpipe (main airway) that can also cause trouble breathing. Severe cases of croup require treatment in a hospital. At the hospital, corticosteroids (for example, Pulmicort Respules) may be used to reduce airway inflammation and ease croup symptoms.

If you’re interested in using Pulmicort to treat a cough, talk with your doctor about whether Pulmicort is an appropriate treatment option for you.

Pulmicort and children

Pulmicort is commonly used to treat asthma in kids. But the two different forms of Pulmicort are approved for use in children of different ages. The approved usage of Pulmicort in children is as follows:

  • Pulmicort Flexhaler is approved to treat asthma in children ages 6 years and older.
  • Pulmicort Respules are approved to treat asthma in babies, toddlers, and children ages 12 months to 8 years.

Pulmicort is an inhaled corticosteroid that reduces inflammation in your lungs. It’s taken consistently each day to control asthma symptoms and prevent symptom flare-ups. You’ll use Pulmicort along with other asthma treatments.

Depending on how severe your asthma is, many other medications can be prescribed for your treatment. However, everyone taking Pulmicort for asthma treatment will also be prescribed a rescue inhaler.

Pulmicort and rescue inhalers

Rescue inhalers contain a bronchodilator that works to quickly open up your airways and make it easier for you to breath. These inhalers should be used if you have any sudden breathing problems.

Some people also use rescue inhalers to open up their airways before doing any exercise.

Rescue inhalers belong to a class of drugs called short-acting beta2-agonists (SABAs). Examples of SABAs include:

Make sure to keep your rescue inhaler with you at all times in case you need to use it to treat sudden breathing problems.

Most people using Pulmicort for asthma treatment will take Pulmicort consistently each day. Then they’ll just use their rescue inhaler as needed.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Pulmicort.

Will I have side effects if I stop using Pulmicort abruptly?

You could. But that depends on the dosage of Pulmicort that you’ve been taking and how long you’ve been taking it. It also depends on whether you’ll be starting a different corticosteroid medication right away.

If you stop taking Pulmicort suddenly, and you don’t start using another corticosteroid right away, your asthma symptoms could become worse.

If you’ve been taking a high dosage of Pulmicort for a long time and you suddenly stop taking it without starting another corticosteroid, you may develop adrenal insufficiency. This is because taking high doses of corticosteroids, such as Pulmicort, can sometimes stop your adrenal glands from producing enough of a natural steroid hormone called cortisol.

Cortisol is necessary for helping your body respond to stress. (Examples of stressors on your body can include serious illness, infections, injury, or surgery.)

Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency can include:

If your doctor recommends that you stop treatment with Pulmicort, your dosage will usually be tapered off (gradually lowered). However, if you’re starting a different corticosteroid right away, such as a different inhaler or corticosteroid tablets, your doctor might advise that you stop Pulmicort abruptly. But this would depend on the dosage of your new steroid.

If you’re planning to stop using Pulmicort, your doctor will recommend the safest way for you to do so. In any case, don’t stop taking Pulmicort suddenly unless your doctor tells you to.

Can Pulmicort be used with long-acting inhalers to treat asthma?

Yes. In fact, long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA) inhalers must be used with a corticosteroid inhaler, such as Pulmicort. Otherwise LABAs can increase the risk of asthma-related death.

Examples of LABA inhalers that must be used with a corticosteroid inhaler, such as Pulmicort, include:

  • arformoterol tartrate (Brovana)
  • formoterol fumarate (Foradil, Perforomist)
  • salmeterol xinafoate (Serevent Diskus)

If you’d like to know more about using a long-acting inhaler with Pulmicort, talk with your doctor.

Can I purchase Pulmicort over the counter?

No, you can’t. Pulmicort is only available by prescription. In order for you to get this medication, you’ll need a prescription from your doctor.

Should I use Pulmicort to treat sudden breathing problems?

No, you shouldn’t. Sudden breathing problems need to be treated with a rescue medication that quickly opens up your airways. These medications include short-acting beta2-agonists (SABAs), such as albuterol sulfate (Ventolin HFA, Proventil, ProAir) and levalbuterol tartrate (Xopenex).

Pulmicort isn’t a rescue medication. It’s a maintenance medication. When used consistently over time, it controls asthma symptoms and helps to prevent symptom flare-ups. Pulmicort works by reducing inflammation in your lungs, which helps prevent breathing problems.

While you’ll usually take Pulmicort regularly every day, you’ll only use your rescue medication as needed. But be sure to keep your rescue medication with you at all times, in case you need to treat sudden breathing problems.

An expiration date will be printed on the box that your Pulmicort Flexhaler or Pulmicort Respules come in. The expiration date will also be printed on the inhaler and the respules themselves. Don’t use Pulmicort if it’s past the printed expiration date.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk to your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

Pulmicort Flexhaler should be stored at room temperature (68°F to 77°F/20°C to 25°C). Always store the inhaler with the cover placed on tightly. Keep Pulmicort Flexhaler dry. Avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as in bathrooms.

Pulmicort Respules should also be stored at room temperature (68°F to 77°F/20°C to 25°C). Store the respules upright. And keep them in the aluminum foil envelope they come in. This will protect them from light. If Pulmicort Respules are properly protected, they’re good for 2 weeks after opening the foil envelope.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take Pulmicort and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

The FDA website provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information on how to dispose of your medication.

Inhaled corticosteroids, such as budesonide (the active drug in Pulmicort), have been studied in pregnancy. These drugs haven’t been found to increase the risk of birth defects in developing fetuses when used during pregnancy.

It’s important to know that asthma should be well managed during pregnancy. According to the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), poorly managed asthma and asthma attacks during pregnancy increase certain risks to a developing fetus more than asthma medications do.

In fact, current asthma treatment guidelines from GINA recommend that inhaled corticosteroids (such as Pulmicort) not be stopped during pregnancy. This is because stopping the medication can worsen your asthma.

If you’re pregnant or you become pregnant while you’re using Pulmicort, talk with your doctor right away. Your asthma may need to be monitored more closely while you’re pregnant. And you can also discuss the risks and benefits of asthma treatment with your doctor.

There’s no particular need to avoid pregnancy while you’re using Pulmicort, unless your asthma isn’t very well managed. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about whether you need to use birth control while you’re taking Pulmicort.

Budesonide, the active drug in Pulmicort, does pass into breast milk in small amounts when it’s used by lactating females. However, most experts agree that it’s safe for women who are breastfeeding to use inhaled corticosteroids such as Pulmicort.

If you’re considering breastfeeding while using Pulmicort, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of treatment.

Using more than the recommended dosage of Pulmicort for short periods of time doesn’t usually cause problems. However, using more than the recommended dosage of Pulmicort over long periods of time can lead to serious side effects.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of using more than the recommended dosage of Pulmicort for long periods of time can include:

  • weight gain
  • fatty hump between your shoulders
  • round-shaped face
  • bruising more easily than usual
  • slow healing cuts or wounds
  • acne
  • stretch marks on your skin

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Pulmicort and alcohol don’t interact with each other. However, some people find that drinking alcohol can trigger their asthma symptoms.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much alcohol is safe for you to drink when using Pulmicort.

Pulmicort can interact with several other medications. Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Pulmicort and other medications

Below are lists of medications that can interact with Pulmicort. These lists don’t contain all the drugs that may interact with Pulmicort.

Before taking Pulmicort, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Pulmicort and certain antimicrobials

Drugs that are used to treat infections caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses (including HIV) are called antimicrobials. Certain antimicrobials are strong CYP3A4 inhibitors. (CYP3A4 is a protein that helps your body break down certain medications.) The drugs are called inhibitors because they stop (inhibit) the action of CYP3A4.

For example, CYP3A4 works to break down Pulmicort and clear it from your body. CYP3A4 also helps keep Pulmicort at the right level in your body. When CYP3A4 is inhibited, it’s less active than usual. This can slow the breakdown of Pulmicort.

If you take CYP3A4 inhibitors with Pulmicort, the level of Pulmicort in your body may increase. This could increase your risk of side effects from Pulmicort.

Examples of antimicrobial drugs that can increase the risk of side effects with Pulmicort include:

  • certain antivirals, such as:
    • atazanavir (Reyataz)
    • ritonavir (Norvir)
    • indinavir sulfate (Crixivan)
    • nelfinavir mesylate (Viracept)
    • saquinavir mesylate (Invirase)
  • certain antifungals, such as:
    • ketoconazole (Nizoral)
    • itraconazole (Sporanox)
    • voriconazole (Vfend)
  • certain antibiotics, such as:
    • clarithromycin
    • telithromycin

If you need to take an antimicrobial drug with Pulmicort, talk with your doctor about possible drug interactions.

Pulmicort and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Pulmicort. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Pulmicort.

As with all medications, the cost of Pulmicort can vary.

The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Your insurance plan may require you to get prior authorization before approving coverage for Pulmicort. This means that your doctor will need to send a request to your insurance company asking them to cover the drug. The insurance company will review the request and let you and your doctor know if your plan will cover Pulmicort.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Pulmicort, contact your insurance plan.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Pulmicort, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of Pulmicort, offers a program called AZ&Me. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 800-292-6363 or visit the program website.

Pulmicort is used as a maintenance treatment for asthma in adults and children. When used consistently over time, Pulmicort helps to control asthma symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

What happens in asthma?

With asthma, the lining of your airways is inflamed. This inflammation makes your airways narrower than usual, which makes it hard for air to flow in and out of your lungs. The inflammation also makes your airways more sensitive to irritants. Having swollen, narrow, and sensitive airways causes symptoms of wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and chest tightness.

What does Pulmicort do?

Pulmicort contains the active drug budesonide, which is a corticosteroid. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation in your body. These drugs stop certain cells from producing substances that trigger inflammation.

When you take Pulmicort (by breathing it into your lungs), the drug helps the cells lining your airways to stop making substances that inflame your airways. This reduces the inflammation in your airways, which makes it easier for air to flow in and out of your lungs. The drug also makes your airways less sensitive to irritants that might otherwise trigger asthma attacks.

Pulmicort is called a maintenance medication because it works to control asthma symptoms by reducing inflammation in your airways. In order for the drug to work properly, you’ll need to take it consistently each day.

How long does it take to work?

Pulmicort will start to reduce inflammation in your airways as soon as you start taking it. And your asthma symptoms should start to improve within a few days after starting treatment.

But it can take a few weeks of regular Pulmicort use before the effect of the drug builds up. Maximum improvement in asthma symptoms is seen about 1 to 2 weeks after starting Pulmicort Flexhaler and about 4 to 6 weeks after starting Pulmicort Respules.

If your asthma symptoms don’t seem to be improving after you’ve started using Pulmicort, see your doctor. They can advise whether you should continue using this medication.

Before taking Pulmicort, talk with your doctor about your health history. Pulmicort may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • An allergy to milk proteins. Pulmicort Flexhaler contains lactose, which is a sugar found in milk that may contain tiny amounts of milk proteins. Don’t use Pulmicort Flexhaler if you have a severe allergy to milk proteins. Doing so could cause you to have an allergic reaction to the drug. However, you may still be able to use Pulmicort Respules, as this form of Pulmicort doesn’t contain lactose.
  • Tuberculosis (TB) infection in your lungs. Pulmicort can make your immune system less able to fight off infections. If you have an active TB infection, you’ll typically need to take medication to treat the infection before you start using Pulmicort. If you’ve been exposed to TB in the past, talk with your doctor before starting Pulmicort. TB can stay inactive in your body for many years. But it may become active if your immune system is weakened by Pulmicort. Your doctor will recommend whether you need to be monitored for TB reactivation,* or if you need to take medication to treat your TB.
  • Untreated bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic infections. Because Pulmicort can make your immune system less able to fight off infections, any serious infection you may get will need to be treated. Your doctor will recommend an appropriate medication to treat your infection while you’re taking Pulmicort. Talk with your doctor about any infections you have before starting treatment with Pulmicort.
  • Ocular herpes infections. Pulmicort can make your immune system less able to fight off infections. This can make ocular herpes infections (herpes infections in your eye) more likely to flare up if the virus is already inside your body. If you’ve ever had a herpes infection in your eye, talk with your doctor about whether it’s safe for you to take Pulmicort. You may need to take an antiviral medication to help prevent both flare-ups of the infection and damage to your eyes.
  • Not being immunized for measles or chickenpox. Infections caused by both measles and chickenpox viruses can be more serious in people using Pulmicort. This is because Pulmicort may weaken the immune system. If you haven’t been immunized and you’ve never had chickenpox or measles, try to avoid being exposed to these infections while you’re using Pulmicort. If you do come into contact with someone who has either chickenpox or measles, call your doctor right away.
  • Reduced bone mineral density (weak bones). Long-term use of Pulmicort can weaken your bones. This may make your bones fracture more easily than usual. If you’re already at risk of having weak bones, your doctor might prescribe calcium supplements or other medications to help strengthen and protect your bones. You are more at risk of having weak bones if you:
    • don’t have a very active lifestyle
    • smoke tobacco
    • have a diet that’s not very nutritious
    • are over 65 years of age
    • have been taking medications that can weaken your bones (for example, anticonvulsants or oral corticosteroids) for a long time
  • Eye problems, such as raised pressure in your eye, glaucoma, or cataracts. Long-term use of Pulmicort can cause or worsen these eye problems. If you already have increased eye pressure, glaucoma, or cataracts, your doctor may recommend that you have frequent eye exams while you’re using Pulmicort. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any changes to your vision while using this drug.
  • Liver problems. Pulmicort is metabolized (broken down) in your liver. If your liver isn’t working very well, this may cause Pulmicort to build up in your body. This could increase your risk of side effects from Pulmicort. If you have liver problems, your doctor may want to monitor you more closely during Pulmicort treatment.
  • Pregnancy. The benefits of taking Pulmicort to treat asthma during pregnancy usually outweigh any risks. However, it’s important to discuss this with your doctor so that your doctor can monitor your asthma and oversee your treatment during pregnancy. For more information, please see the “Pulmicort and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. Budesonide (the active drug in Pulmicort) does pass into breast milk. For more information, please see the “Pulmicort and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Pulmicort, see the “Pulmicort side effects” section above.

* With reactivation, a virus that’s already inside your body flares up and may cause problems.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Indications

Pulmicort is approved for the maintenance treatment of asthma to prevent asthma symptoms. It comes in two forms, which can be prescribed as follows:

  • Pulmicort Flexhaler. This form is approved for use in adults and children ages 6 years and older.
  • Pulmicort Respules. This form is approved for use in children ages 12 months to 8 years.

Pulmicort is not a bronchodilator and must not be used to treat acute asthma attacks or status asthmaticus.

Mechanism of action

Pulmicort contains the corticosteroid budesonide. Budesonide has potent glucocorticoid effects and weak mineralocorticoid effects. It reduces airway inflammation due to asthma by inhibiting the action of many pro-inflammatory cells and mediators. These include mast cells, eosinophils, lymphocytes, neutrophils, macrophages, histamine, cytokines, eicosanoids, and leukotrienes.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

In studies, when healthy people used a budesonide-containing dry powder inhaler other than Pulmicort Flexhaler, 34% of the dose was deposited in their lungs. Systemic availability was 39% of the metered dose.

When Pulmicort Flexhaler is used in adults with asthma, the peak steady-state plasma level of budesonide is reached about 10 minutes after dosing. The average peak concentration is 0.6 nmol/L following a dose of 180 mcg once daily, and 1.6 nmol/L following a dose of 360 mcg twice daily. With dose increases, both area under the curve and maximum concentration increase in a linear fashion after single and repeated doses.

When Pulmicort Respules are used with a jet nebulizer in children ages 4 to 6 years with asthma, total lung and oral bioavailability is about 6% of the labeled dose. Maximum concentration is reached about 20 minutes after dosing. The peak plasma concentration of budesonide is 2.6 nmol/L after nebulization of a 1-mg dose.

Plasma protein binding of budesonide is 85% to 90%.

Budesonide is extensively metabolized into two metabolites in the liver by cytochrome p450 3A4. These metabolites have less than 1% of the corticosteroid activity that budesonide has.

Contraindications

Pulmicort is contraindicated in people who are allergic to any ingredient in the medication. For Pulmicort Flexhaler, this includes people with an allergy to milk proteins, as the drug contains lactose.

Storage

Pulmicort Flexhaler and Pulmicort Respules should be stored at room temperature (68°F to 77°F/20°C to 25°C). Always store the inhaler with the cover placed on tightly. Keep Pulmicort Flexhaler dry. Avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as in bathrooms.

Store Pulmicort Respules upright. They should be kept in their aluminum foil envelope to protect them from light. If Pulmicort Respules are properly protected, they can be kept for 2 weeks after the foil envelope is opened.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.