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Budesonide (By breathing)

Prevents asthma attacks. This medicine is a steroid.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Budesonide is used to help prevent the symptoms of asthma. When used regularly every day, inhaled budesonide decreases the number and severity of asthma attacks. However, it will not relieve an asthma attack that has already started. Budesonide is a corticosteroid or steroid (cortisone-like medicine). It works by preventing inflammation (swelling) in the lungs, which makes the asthma attack less… Read more
Brand names include
Pulmicort, Pulmicort Flex, Pulmicort Flexhaler, Pulmicort Nebuamp, Pulmicort Respules, Pulmicort Turbuhaler, Rhinocort Turbuhaler
Other forms
By mouth, Into the nose
Drug classes About this
Anti-Inflammatory
Combinations including this drug

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Efficacy and safety of budesonide for collagenous colitis: a meta-analysis

Bibliographic details: Peng C, Lv Y, Li Y, Xu Z, Zou X.  Efficacy and safety of budesonide for collagenous colitis: a meta-analysis. Chinese Journal of Gastroenterology 2010; 15(8): 478-482 Available from: http://d.wanfangdata.com.cn/periodical_wcbx201008008.aspx

The effectiveness and safety of ciclesonide versus fluticasone, budesonide, and beclomethasone in treatment of persistent asthma: a comprehensive review of literature

Bibliographic details: Zali Z, Akbari-Sari A, Yazdizadeh B, Hosseini A, Tabatabaei SA.  The effectiveness and safety of ciclesonide versus fluticasone, budesonide, and beclomethasone in treatment of persistent asthma: a comprehensive review of literature. Journal of Isfahan Medical School 2014; 32(278): 342-358 Available from: http://www.jims.mui.ac.ir/index.php/jims/article/view/2847/6186

Effects of topical administration of budesonide and traditional glucocorticosteroids on active distal ulcerative colitis or proctitis

Bibliographic details: Huang M-L, Ran Z-H, Tong J-L, Lu L-H, Xiao S-D.  Effects of topical administration of budesonide and traditional glucocorticosteroids on active distal ulcerative colitis or proctitis. World Chinese Journal of Digestology 2008; 16(3): 326-331

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Summaries for consumers

Budesonide versus placebo for asthma

Budesonide is highly effective preventative treatment for all patients with asthma, irrespective of age or severity of their disease. Most benefits are seen with low‐moderate doses.

Budesonide for treatment of active Crohn's disease

Traditional corticosteroids are often used as treatment for active Crohn's disease. Unfortunately, corticosteroids can cause side effects. Budesonide is a newer corticosteroid drug which is quickly metabolized by the liver thereby reducing corticosteroid related side effects. Budesonide is more effective than placebo (fake medicine) or mesalamine for the treatment of active Crohn's disease. Traditional corticosteroids are more effective than budesonide for the treatment of active Crohn's disease, particularly in patients with severe disease. However, budesonide is less likely than traditional corticosteroids to cause side effects.

Fluticasone versus beclomethasone or budesonide for chronic asthma in adults and children

This review compares the effectiveness of three inhaled steroids. Fluticasone (FP) was compared with either beclomethasone (BDP) or budesonide (BUD) for treating people with chronic asthma. When FP was given to children or adults at approximately half the daily dose of either BDP or BUD, it appeared to be at least as effective as the other two drugs in improving airway opening. There was not enough information available to draw conclusions concerning the effect of these drugs on symptoms, or the risk of an acute asthma exacerbation. When given at the same dose as BDP or BUD, FP treated participants had slightly better lung function. However, at the same dose FP was also associated with increased hoarseness, although it did not lead to increased incidences of other side‐effects associated with steroids such as oral thrush or sore throat.

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