Common Brand Name(s): Entocort
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This medication is used to treat certain bowel conditions (such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis). While budesonide does not cure these conditions, it may decrease symptoms such as pain and diarrhea. Budesonide is an anti-inflammatory drug (corticosteroid hormone). It works by decreasing the body's natural defense response (immune response).
How To Use
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking budesonide and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the morning. Swallow this medication whole with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters). Do not crush or chew. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects.
If you are using the extended-release tablets, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
If you are using the extended-release capsules and have trouble swallowing them whole, you may open the capsule and carefully sprinkle its contents on a spoonful of soft, cool applesauce in a clean container. Stir and take all of the drug/food mixture within 30 minutes. Do not chew the mixture. Then drink a full glass of cool water (8 ounces/240 milliliters) to make sure you have swallowed all of the dose. Do not prepare a supply ahead of time.
The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and age.
Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor or pharmacist says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can increase the chance of side effects with this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
If you are regularly taking a different corticosteroid by mouth (such as prednisone), you should not stop taking it unless directed by your doctor. Some conditions (such as asthma, allergies) may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. If you suddenly stop taking the drug, you may also have withdrawal symptoms (such as weakness, weight loss, nausea, muscle pain, headache, tiredness, dizziness). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may slowly lower the dose of your old medication after you begin taking budesonide. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal. See also Precautions section.
Use this medication regularly and exactly as prescribed in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day. Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or use it for a longer time than prescribed because this may increase your risk of serious side effects.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
This medication usually has fewer side effects than other corticosteroids because budesonide works in the gut and only small amounts are absorbed into the body. Nausea, heartburn, and headache, may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Because this drug works by weakening the immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. This may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection (such as cough, sore throat, fever, chills). Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth or a change in vaginal discharge.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur:
- unusual tiredness
- vision problems
- easy bruising/bleeding
- puffy face
- unusual hair growth
- mental/mood changes (such as depression, mood swings, agitation)
- muscle weakness/pain
- bone pain
- thinning skin
- slow wound healing
- symptoms of stomach/intestinal bleeding (such as stomach/abdominal pain, black/tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds)
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking budesonide, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
- eye disease (such as cataracts, glaucoma)
- high blood pressure
- liver disease
- thyroid problems
- stomach/intestinal problems (such as diverticulitis, ulcer)
- brittle bones (osteoporosis)
- current/past infections (such as tuberculosis, positive tuberculosis test, herpes, fungal)
- bleeding problems
- mental/mood conditions (such as psychosis, anxiety, depression)
Using corticosteroid medications for a long time can make it more difficult for your body to respond to physical stress. Therefore, before having surgery or emergency treatment, or if you get a serious illness/injury, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication or have used this medication within the past 12 months. Tell your doctor right away if you develop unusual/extreme tiredness or weight loss. If you will be using this medication for a long time, carry a warning card or medical ID bracelet that identifies your use of this medication.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Daily use of alcohol while using this medicine may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcoholic beverages. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
This medication may mask signs of infection. It can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Therefore, wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infection. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
Budesonide may cause vaccines not to work as well. Therefore, do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially bone loss/pain, stomach/intestinal bleeding, and mental/mood changes (such as confusion).
This medication may slow down a child's growth if used for a long time. Consult the doctor or pharmacist for more details. See the doctor regularly so your child's height and growth can be checked.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Babies born to mothers who have used corticosteroids for a long time may develop hormone problems. Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms such as persistent nausea/vomiting, severe diarrhea, or weakness in your newborn.
This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
- drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising (including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, "blood thinners" such as dabigatran/warfarin, NSAIDs such as aspirin/celecoxib/ibuprofen)
If your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
This product may interfere with certain lab tests (such as skin tests). Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
If this medication is used for an extended time, laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood count, bone density tests, eye exams, height/weight measurements) should be performed regularly to check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
This medication may cause bone problems (osteoporosis). Lifestyle changes that may help reduce the risk of bone problems while taking this drug for an extended time include doing weight-bearing exercise, getting enough calcium and vitamin D, stopping smoking, and limiting alcohol. Discuss with your doctor lifestyle changes that might benefit you.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised February 2020.
Copyright(c) 2020 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.