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.
BUDESONIDE - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Entocort EC
USES: This medication is used to treat a flare/attack of a bowel condition called Crohn's disease. While budesonide does not cure this condition, 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 provided by your pharmacist before you start using budesonide and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily before your morning meal, or as directed by your doctor. Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Swallow the capsules whole. Do not crush or chew the capsules. Doing so can keep the drug from being released properly into the colon and may increase side effects. The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while being treated with this medication unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Grapefruit may increase the amount of certain medications in your body. Consult 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. You may have withdrawal symptoms if the drug is suddenly stopped. To prevent withdrawal symptoms (such as weakness, weight loss, nausea, muscle pain, headache, tiredness, dizziness), your doctor may direct you to slowly lower the dose of your old medication when you are taking budesonide. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately. 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.
SIDE EFFECTS: Budesonide capsules usually have 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 immediately 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 immediately 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, thinning skin, slow wound healing. 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: rash, 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. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: 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, diabetes, 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 immediately 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). 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, budesonide should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Infants born to mothers who have used corticosteroids for a long time may have hormone problems. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice symptoms such as persistent nausea/vomiting, severe diarrhea, or weakness. This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects in a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring. To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: aldesleukin, other drugs that weaken the immune system (such as azathioprine, cyclosporine, cancer chemotherapy, natalizumab), mifepristone, quinolone antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin), 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. Other medications can affect the removal of budesonide from your body, which may affect how budesonide works. Examples include azole antifungals (such as ketoconazole), macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), rifamycins (such as rifabutin), St. John's wort, drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin), among others. 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. This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
NOTES: 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.
MISSED DOSE: 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 and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store the US product at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets. Store the Canadian product at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C). 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 for more details about how to safely discard your product.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-800-854-1166 (USA) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised July 2012. Copyright(c) 2012 First Databank, Inc.