Entocort (Budesonide)

(℞) Prescription Required

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    Entocort EC (Budesonide) Dosage and Side Effects

    ENTOCORT EC treats a variety of conditions, including diseases of the intestines or bowels like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, lung diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and allergic rhinitis (hay fever).

    Warnings and Precautions

    No prescription drug that contains ENTOCORT EC as its only active ingredient carries a black-box warning.

    However, Symbicort, an inhaler that contains both ENTOCORT EC and formoterol, carries a black-box warning because of the health risks associated with formoterol.

    You should not take ENTOCORT EC if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients, or if have any of the following conditions:

    • High blood pressure or congestive heart failure (CHF)
    • Liver problems
    • Eye conditions like glaucoma or cataracts
    • Diabetes
    • Ongoing infection
    • Ulcers
    • Seizures
    • Mental or mood conditions

    Also, it's important to note that children shouldn't take the sustained release (SR) or long-acting capsules of ENTOCORT EC.

    Talk to your doctor before taking ENTOCORT EC if you:

    • Are taking sustained-release ENTOCORT EC and are about to have surgery
    • Have osteoporosis
    • Have tuberculosis

    Pregnancy and ENTOCORT EC

    ENTOCORT EC that is taken by mouth falls under the FDA's Pregnancy Category C, meaning that harm to a developing fetus can't be ruled out.

    Inhaled forms of ENTOCORT EC fall under Pregnancy Category B, meaning that it's unlikely to harm a developing fetus.

    Regardless, you should tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking this medication.

    ENTOCORT EC is found in breast milk. Talk to your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed before or while taking ENTOCORT EC.

    ENTOCORT EC for Dogs and Cats

    Studies reveal that ENTOCORT EC works just as well as prednisone for treating inflammatory bowel disease in dogs.

    ENTOCORT EC is also prescribed for cats who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) because it not only helps relieve their symptoms, but also has fewer side effects than other steroid treatments.

    Side Effects

    Common side effects of ENTOCORT EC include:

    • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation
    • Dizziness and headache
    • Upset stomach or stomach pain, gas, and bloating
    • General or joint pain
    • Fatigue
    • Low blood levels of potassium
    • Acne
    • Weakened immune system
    • Bladder or kidney infection

    Serious side effects of ENTOCORT EC include but are not limited to:

    • Cushing's syndrome (more likely with long-term use)
    • Decreased function of adrenal glands (more likely with long-term use and higher doses)
    • Pressure in the space between the skull and the brain
    • Life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis in which you may have trouble breathing, the throat closes up, and your skin breaks out into hives

    Interactions with this medication

    It's always important to share with your doctor and pharmacist all of the medications you are taking.

    This includes prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, supplements like vitamins and other dietary supplements (nutritional shakes, protein powders, etc.), herbals, and any illegal or recreational drugs.

    You should not take ENTOCORT EC if you are taking the following drugs:

    • Theracrys (BCG live intravesical)
    • Medications for viruses like Norvir (ritonavir) or Incivek (telaprevir)
    • Diabetes medications like Byetta or Bydureon (exenatide), Precose (acarbose), Amaryl (glimepiride), Diabeta or Glynase (glyburide), and Glucotrol or Glucotrol XL (glipizide)
    • Water pills like Micronizide or Zide (hydrochlorothiazide), bumetanide, Diuril (chlorothiazide), Edecrin (ethacrynic acid), and Zaroxolyn (metolazone)
    • Cordarone, Pacerone, or Nexterone (amiodarone) or Multaq (dronedarone)

    If you are taking the ENTOCORT EC brand Uceris, you should avoidmedications for fungal infections like Extena or Ketozole (ketoconazole) and Sporanox or Omnel (itraconazole).

    ENTOCORT EC and Alcohol

    Because both ENTOCORT EC and alcohol can cause dizziness, taking the two together may make it worse.

    You should avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication.

    ENTOCORT EC and Grapefruit Juice

    You should avoid eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while taking ENTOCORT EC.

    Grapefruit juice slows down the body's ability to break down ENTOCORT EC, which could cause ENTOCORT EC levels in the blood to rise dangerously high.

    Proper Use of this medication

    ENTOCORT EC is available as tablets, nasal spray, suppository, and for inhalation as a dry powder or aerosol spray, and liquid formulations (to be used with a nebulizer).

    The doses vary depending on the brand and the dosage form.

    If you are taking the ENTOCORT EC brand Entercort EC for Crohn's disease and you are having a flare-up, the usual dose is 9 mg by mouth every morning for up to 8 weeks.

    To keep Crohn's disease flare-ups at bay, the usual dose is 6 mg by mouth every morning for up to 3 months.

    The brand Uceris comes in two different forms -- extended-release tablets and a foam that you put on your rectum. Both are used to treat ulcerative colitis.

    The usual dose for extended release tablets is 9 mg by mouth each morning for up to 8 weeks.

    Uceris foam, which delivers a 2 mg per dose, should be used twice a day for the first 2 weeks, then once a day right before bedtime for the last 4 weeks.

    Pulmicort Flexhaler for asthma comes in doses of 90 mcg and 180 mcg per inhalation.

    Your doctor will work with you to figure out how much to take and how often.

    You should not take more than 1440 mcg of this medication in one day.

    Pulmicort Respules come in strengths of 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, and 1 mg. Dosages range from 0.5 mg once a day to .25 mg twice a day.

    ENTOCORT EC Overdose

    If you suspect an overdose of ENTOCORT EC, you should contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.

    You can get in touch with a poison control center.

    Missed Dose of ENTOCORT EC

    If you miss a dose of ENTOCORT EC, try to take it as soon as you remember.

    If it's almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time.

    Do not take two doses of the medication at the same time.

    Other related products

    The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.