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Generic Name:

budesonide, Nasal suspension, spray

Generic Name:
Rhinocort,Rhinocort Aqua

budesonide, Nasal suspension, spray

All Brands

  • Rhinocort
  • Rhinocort Aqua
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for budesonide

Nasal suspension, spray
1

Budesonide comes as a suspension that you spray into your nose. It’s also available as an inhalation suspension, inhalation powder, oral capsule, extended-release oral tablet, and rectal foam.

2

Budesonide nasal spray is used to treat and prevent the nasal symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever). These symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose.

3

Budesonide nasal spray is available as the brand-name drug Rhinocort Aqua. It’s also available as a generic drug.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Infections

This drug can weaken your immune system. This means that you have a higher chance of getting infections while taking it. During your treatment, you should avoid contact with people who have contagious diseases, such as chicken pox or measles.

Fungal infections of your nose

This drug raises your risk of getting a yeast infection in your nose. Tell your doctor if you have pain, irritation, or pressure in your nose. These may be signs of a fungal infection.

Adrenal insufficiency

If used at high doses for a long time, this drug can stop your adrenal glands from making enough steroid hormones. This causes a condition called adrenal insufficiency. Symptoms can include tiredness, weakness, nausea, and vomiting. Adrenal insufficiency can also cause low blood pressure, which can make you feel dizzy or faint.

Eye problems

This drug increases your risk of developing eye issues. These can include glaucoma and cataracts. Symptoms can include blurry or double vision, trouble seeing, and your eyes being sensitive to light. Symptoms can also include seeing halos (circles) around lights and not being able to see in dim light. Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of eye problems. You may need an eye exam.

What is budesonide?

Budesonide is a prescription drug. It comes as a nasal spray, inhalation suspension, inhalation powder, oral capsule, extended-release oral tablet, and rectal foam.

The nasal spray is available as the brand-name drug Rhinocort Aqua. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Budesonide nasal spray is used to treat and prevent the nasal symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever). These symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose. Hay fever occurs when your body becomes sensitive to something in the environment, such as pollen, pet hair, or dust.

How it works

Budesonide belongs to a class of drugs called corticosteroids. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions. This drug works by decreasing swelling and inflammation in your nasal passages.

See Details

How it works

Budesonide belongs to a class of drugs called corticosteroids. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions. This drug works by decreasing swelling and inflammation in your nasal passages. This helps keep your airways open so that it’s easier to breathe through your nose.

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SECTION 2 of 4

budesonide Side Effects

Nasal suspension, spray

More common side effects

The more common side effects of budesonide nasal spray can include:

  • Nosebleeds

  • Yeast infection in your nose. Nasal symptoms can include:

    • pain
    • irritation
    • pressure
  • Throat irritation or pain

  • Wheezing

  • Rash

  • Itching

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Slowed or delayed growth in children

  • Slow wound healing in your nose

  • Hole in the tissue between your nasal passages. Symptoms can include:

    • pain
    • irritation
    • pressure
  • Eye problems, such as increased eye pressure, cataracts, and glaucoma. Symptoms can include:

    • blurry vision
    • double vision
    • trouble seeing
    • not being able to see in dim light
    • seeing halos (circles) around lights
    • being sensitive to light
  • Adrenal insufficiency. Symptoms can include:

    • tiredness
    • weakness
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • low blood pressure (may make you feel dizzy or faint)
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Budesonide doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

budesonide May Interact with Other Medications

Nasal suspension, spray

Budesonide can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Interactions that increase your risk of side effects

Increased side effects from budesonide: Taking budesonide with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from budesonide. This is because the amount of budesonide in your body may be increased. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Antifungal drugs such as ketoconazole and itraconazole
  • HIV drugs such as ritonavir, atazanavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, and saquinavir
  • Antibiotics such as clarithromycin and telithromycin
  • Depression drugs such as nefazadone

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Budesonide warnings
nasal problem warning
People with nasal problems

If you’ve had recent nose surgery or nose trauma or have an ulcer (sore) on the tissue between your nasal passages, you shouldn’t use this drug until you’re healed. This is because this medication may make your wounds heal more slowly.

glaucoma and cataract warning
People with glaucoma and cataracts

This drug can cause eye problems. These include glaucoma, cataracts, and increased pressure inside your eyes. It can also worsen eye problems you already have. Let your doctor know if you have a history of any of these eye problems. Your doctor will monitor you closely to make sure this drug is safe for you.

pregnancy warning
Pregnant women

Budesonide is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has not shown a risk to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in humans to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Animal studies do not always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.

breast feeding warning
Women who are breast-feeding

Budesonide passes into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.

Talk to your doctor about breastfeeding your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

childrens warning
For children

This drug hasn’t been studied in children younger than 6 years of age. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 6 years of age.

In children older than 6 years of age, this medication may lead to slowed or delayed growth.

call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if:

  • Your symptoms get worse or don’t improve after using this drug for 2 weeks.
  • You become pregnant while taking this drug.
allergy warning
Allergies

Budesonide can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • itchy, red rash on your skin

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take budesonide (Dosage)

Nasal suspension, spray

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Allergic rhinitis

Generic: budesonide

Form: nasal spray
Strengths: 32 mcg per spray

Generic: Rhinocort Aqua

Form: nasal spray
Strengths: 32 mcg per spray
Adult dosage (ages years and older)
  • Typical starting dosage: 1 spray in each nostril once per day
  • Maximum dosage: 4 sprays in each nostril once per day
Child dosage (ages 13–17 years)
  • Typical starting dosage: 1 spray in each nostril once per day
  • Maximum dosage: 4 sprays in each nostril once per day
Child dosage (ages 6–12 years)
  • Typical starting dosage: 1 spray in each nostril once per day
  • Maximum dosage: 2 sprays in each nostril once per day
Child dosage (ages 0–5 years)

This drug hasn’t been studied in children younger than 6 years of age. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 6 years of age.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Budesonide comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

Your stuffy or runny nose may get not get better. It may even get worse.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • eye problems, such as glaucoma and cataracts
  • adrenal insufficiency

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. If you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your stuffy or runny nose should improve.

Budesonide is used for short-term treatment of seasonal allergies. It’s used for long-term treatment of year-long allergies.

Store this drug carefully

  • Store budesonide at room temperature. Keep it between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C). Don’t freeze this drug.
  • Keep this drug away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues during your treatment. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include:

  • Nose problems. This drug may cause fungal infections and holes in your nasal tissue. If you have any symptoms, call your doctor.
  • Growth problems. This drug may lead to slowed or delayed growth in children. If your child is taking this drug, their doctor will check their growth.
  • Eye problems. This drug may lead to serious eye problems, such as cataracts or glaucoma. If you need to use this drug for a long time or have signs of eye issues, your doctor will do an eye exam.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.


Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on March 25, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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