Pulmicort

Pulmicort Turbohaler contains the active ingredient Budesonide, which is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid. Pulmicort Turbohaler is a 'preventer', because it is taken regularly every day to reduce the inflammation in the lungs and prevent asthma attacks

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Like any other prescription medication you must consult a doctor before using Pulmicort.

PrivateDoc offers a confidential free consultation service that may result in you receiving a prescription for Pulmicort if it is deemed appropriate and Pulmicort can prescribed safely.

Complete a 100% free and secure consultation to explore your treatment options. How our online prescription consultation works.

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What is Pulmicort 

Pulmicort Turbohaler contains the active ingredient Budesonide, which is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid. Budesonide inhalers are also available without a brand name, i.e. as the generic medicine.

Corticosteroids are hormones that are produced naturally by the adrenal glands. They have many important functions, including control of inflammatory responses. Budesonide is a synthetic, man-made, corticosteroid and is used to decrease inflammation in the lungs.

When Budesonide is inhaled it is absorbed into the cells of the lungs and airways. Here it works by preventing the release of certain chemicals from the cells. These chemicals are important in the immune system and are normally involved in producing immune and allergic responses that result in inflammation. By decreasing the release of these chemicals in the lungs and airways, inflammation is reduced.

In asthma, the airways tighten due to inflammation and can also be blocked by mucus. This makes it difficult for air to get in and out of the lungs. By preventing the inflammation and excess mucus formation, Budesonide makes it easier to breathe and helps prevent asthma attacks. It does not work to treat an asthma attack.

Budesonide is inhaled into the lungs using either an inhaler or a nebuliser. Inhaling the medicine allows it to act directly in the lungs where it is needed most. It also reduces the potential for side effects occurring in other parts of the body, as the amount absorbed into the blood through the lungs is lower than if it is taken by mouth.

Pulmicort Turbohaler inhalers are a prescription only medicine, like any other prescription medication you must consult a doctor before using it.Private Doc offers a confidential free consultation service that may result in you receiving a prescription for Pulmicort Turbohaler Inhalers if it is deemed appropriate and can prescribed safely.

Complete a 100% free and secure consultation to explore your treatment options.

Who can use Pulmicort

Private Doc will prescribe Pulmicort inhalers where they are suitable. People qualify for Pulmicort if:

  • They have been using Pulmicort inhalers for the last year.
  • They have had no problems with Pulmicort inhalers in the last year.

They have had a face-to-face check-up with an Asthma Nurse or Doctor in the last year.

How to take Pulmicort 

Pulmicort Turbohaler is used regularly every day. Your doctor may ask you to use it twice a day, morning and evening, or once a day in the evening. You should follow the instructions given by your doctor regarding when to use your inhaler and how many inhalations you should use each day. Don't exceed the prescribed dose.

If you use your reliever inhaler at the same time as this one, you should use the reliever inhaler first to open your airways, and then take your dose from this inhaler.

It is very important to learn how to use your inhaler correctly, as otherwise you won't be breathing the right dose of medicine into your lungs. Instructions will be provided with your inhaler. However, your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can also show you how to use your inhaler and can check that you are using it correctly.

Pulmicort Turbohaler is a dry powder inhaler. It contains the medicine in powder form ready for you to breathe in. To take a dose you follow these steps:

  1. Take off the white cover, unscrew it, and hold the inhaler upright, with the brown base at the bottom.
  2. Turn the brown grip at the base of the Turbohaler as far as it will go in one direction. Then turn it as far as it will go in the other direction, it doesn't matter which way you turn it first. You should hear a click sound; the Turbohaler is now loaded and ready to use.
  3. Breathe out fully, not into the inhaler, put the mouthpiece in your mouth and close your lips around it, then breathe in as deeply and hard as you can through your mouth.
  4. Hold your breath, remove the mouthpiece from your mouth and breathe out gently. More detailed instructions are provided with the Turbohaler.

Inhaled corticosteroids can sometimes cause a fungal infection in the mouth called oral thrush. To minimise the chances of this you should rinse your mouth with water or clean your teeth after inhaling each dose. Consult your doctor if you develop white patches in your mouth or throat, as these are symptoms of thrush and it may need to be treated.

If you forget to take a dose, leave out the missed dose and take your next dose as usual when it is due. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.

Do not stop using your inhaler regularly every day, even if you don't have any symptoms, unless advised to by your doctor.

Possible side effects

  • This medicine is known as a preventer and it should be taken regularly to prevent asthma attacks. It should not be used to relieve an asthma attack or breathing difficulties, as it won't work for this purpose. An asthma attack needs to be treated with a medicine that quickly opens the airways, such as Salbutamol or Terbutaline. These are known as relievers, and you should make sure you carry your reliever inhaler with you at all times to relieve an asthma attack if it happens.
  • Consult your doctor if you need to use your reliever more frequently than normal, or if it becomes less effective at treating attacks, as this may indicate that your asthma is getting worse and your doctor may need to prescribe you another medicine.
  • Do not exceed the dose of this medicine that your doctor has prescribed for you.
  • You should not suddenly stop taking this medicine unless your doctor tells you otherwise, as your asthma symptoms are likely to return.
  • Inhalers may cause an unexpected increase in wheezing and difficulty breathing (paradoxical bronchospasm) straight after using them. If this happens, don't use the inhaler again, use your reliever inhaler to open your airways and consult your doctor.
  • Inhaled corticosteroids have considerably fewer side effects than steroids taken by mouth. However, when taken for long periods of time at high doses, inhaled steroids do have the potential to cause side effects such as Glaucoma, Cataracts, thinning of the bones, osteoporosis, slowed growth in children and adolescents, Cushings Syndrome, changes in mood or behaviour, and to suppress the functioning of the adrenal glands, the glands that produce natural steroid hormones. For this reason your doctor will prescribe the lowest effective dose to control your symptoms, and monitor for these side effects. It is recommended that children receiving long-term treatment with corticosteroids have their growth monitored. If a child's growth appears to be slowed your doctor may refer them to a specialist respiratory paediatrician. For further information talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • If you need to take high doses of Budesonide for a long time, your body may become temporarily reliant on the medicine. This is because long-term use of corticosteroids can cause the adrenal glands to stop producing natural steroids. For this reason treatment must not be suddenly stopped. If your doctor wants you to stop treatment your dose should be tapered down gradually, to allow the adrenal glands to start producing adequate amounts of natural steroids again. People taking high doses of Budesonide for a long time may also need to take extra steroid medicines during times of physical stress, for example illnesses, serious accidents or surgery. This is because your adrenal glands would normally produce more steroid hormones to cope with these situations, however, if the action of your adrenal glands is suppressed, this increase in hormones won't happen naturally. For more information talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Pulmicort Turbohaler should be used with caution by people with:

  • Liver Disease
  • A History of Tuberculosis
  • Chest Infection

Pulmicort Turbohaler should not be used by

  • People with known sensitivity or allergy to any ingredient.
  • Pulmicort Turbohaler is not recommended for children under five years of age.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.

  • It is important that asthma is well controlled in pregnant women because severe asthma attacks can be dangerous to the pregnancy. Wherever possible, asthma medications should be taken by inhaler, as this minimises the amount of medicine that enters the bloodstream and crosses the placenta. It is generally considered that asthma inhalers can be taken as usual during pregnancy. For further medical advice talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Budesonide may pass into breast milk. However, in general, asthma inhalers can be used as normal during breastfeeding, because the amount of medicine that passes into the breast milk after using an inhaler is negligible and unlikely to harm the baby. Seek further medical advice from your doctor.

Patient Information Leaflet