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What Is a Budesonide Inhaler?

Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Jacquelyn Gilchrist

A budesonide inhalant is a generic medication prescribed to treat symptoms of severe asthma, such as shortness of breath, wheezing, and troubled breathing. This medication is packaged in a device called a budesonide inhaler so that the patient may breathe in the drug. It works by easing the swelling and irritation of the patient's airways to facilitate proper breathing. The budesonide inhaler is a corticosteroid that may also be used to treat certain lung diseases.

Patients using a budesonide inhaler must use it regularly to gain the full benefit. It is not used for control of sudden asthma attacks, because it does not offer immediate relief. Patients must inhale the corticosteroid consistently as prescribed by their doctors, usually once or twice daily. They must also notify their doctors if their symptoms worsen or do not improve within two weeks of using a budesonide inhaler.

A budesonide inhaler delivers medication to a patient's airways.
A budesonide inhaler delivers medication to a patient's airways.

The device should be gently shaken before using it. Patients should place the mouthpiece into their mouths, past the teeth and tilt their head back. They can then close their lips tightly around the budesonide inhaler and inhale deeply before removing the device. Patients should hold their breath for 10 seconds before exhaling. Those who are prescribed two doses taken at the same time must wait two minutes before the second dose.

Ear pain with a fever may occur when using a budesonide inhaler, and this side effect can be serious.
Ear pain with a fever may occur when using a budesonide inhaler, and this side effect can be serious.

Some side effects may occur with the use of budesonide inhaler, which should be reported to the prescribing physician if they become bothersome. Patients may notice stomach pain, neck pain, and a nosebleed. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may occur, along with a sore throat and a cough. Sores or white patches in the mouth, dizziness, and difficult or painful speech have also been reported. Some patients have reported a dry or irritated throat, a headache, and a runny or stuffy nose.

Use of a budesonide inhaler may interact with birth control pills.
Use of a budesonide inhaler may interact with birth control pills.

More serious side effects may also occur, which require immediate medical attention. These can include changes in the location of body fat, vision problems, and ear pain that is accompanied by a fever. Other patients have suffered from worsening respiratory symptoms, including wheezing and problems breathing. Fatigue, weakness, and feeling faint have also been reported.

Before using a budesonide inhaler, patients must disclose their other medical conditions, medications, and supplements. It is not expected to harm an unborn baby; however, the drug may pass into breast milk and should not be used by women who are nursing. A budesonide inhaler may be contraindicated for use by those who have osteoporosis, liver disease, or any kind of infection. It may interact with other drugs, including diuretics, estrogen, and birth control pills.

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    • A budesonide inhaler delivers medication to a patient's airways.
      By: perfectmatch
      A budesonide inhaler delivers medication to a patient's airways.
    • Ear pain with a fever may occur when using a budesonide inhaler, and this side effect can be serious.
      By: Photographee.eu
      Ear pain with a fever may occur when using a budesonide inhaler, and this side effect can be serious.
    • Use of a budesonide inhaler may interact with birth control pills.
      By: Kimberly Reinick
      Use of a budesonide inhaler may interact with birth control pills.