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Pulmicort is a synthetic glucocorticoid steroid that is related to the natural hormone cortisone or hydrocortisone which is produced by the adrenal glands. This medication is used in the treatment of asthma by inhalation.

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UK Meds asked our favorite doctor, Dr. Christian Jessen, to explain Asthma. Below is what he has to say.

Asthma is a long term health condition where those affected have overly-sensitive airways, and it can lead to serious difficulties when breathing. Inflammation and constriction of the airways cause them to get narrower, making it harder for air to pass through. This causes a typical asthma attack which left untreated can be potentially fatal.

Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, tightness around the chest and shortness of breath. Currently, there is no cure for asthma, but there are a wide range of treatments that can help. Reliever inhalers, which are usually blue, provide rapid relief by relaxing your airways. They should always be kept on you at all times in case of asthma attack and you should always have a spare inhaler on hand.

Preventer inhalers, which are usually colored brown, contain a low dose of steroids. They take affect over time to reduce the inflammation, sensitivity and swelling in your airways. Even if your symptoms don't seem serious, you should always use your preventer inhaler (if you have been advised to) to help keep an attack at bay.

UK Meds can prescribe many different types of inhalers, including Ventolin, Clenil Modulite, Bricanyl and more. Start your free consultation with GMC registered doctors today.

- Dr. Christian Jessen

The video and article above is for information purposes only. They are not intended to diagnose a condition or prescribe a medicine. If you have any specific concerns about your health, please consult your GP or use our online doctor's service. You can follow Dr. Christian Jessen online on his Twitter account.

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What is Pulmicort?

Glucocorticoid steroids, such as cortisol or budesonide have potent anti-inflammatory actions that reduce inflammation and hyperactivity of the airways resulting from asthma. When used as an inhaler, budesonide is absorbed directly by the inner lining of the inflamed airways to exert its beneficial effects. Around 39% of the inhaled dose of budesonide is absorbed into the body, with the absorbed budesonide contributing little effects on the airways. Improvements in the symptoms of asthma may be expected within 24 hours of use while it takes a few weeks to obtain the maximum therapeutic benefits of the medication when used for the treatment of asthma.

Pulmicort is approved for the long-term treatment of asthma. It is available as dry powder inhaler for use with a jet nebulizer, which is marketed as Pulmicort Respules. Pulmicort Flexhaler is approved for use by people ages six years and up. Pulmicort Respules is approved for use by children from 12 months to eight years.

How does Pulmicort work?

Pulmicort works by inhaling corticosteroids which result in reduced inflammation in the airways. Corticosteroids affect various types of inflammatory cells, including mast cells and eosinophils. They also affect the signalling chemicals that play an important role in inflammation, such as histamine, cytokines, and leukotrienes.

What are the benefits of using Pulmicort?

Pulmicort, both Respules, and Flexhaler are effective in reducing the inflammation in the airways that result from an asthma attack. It also effectively stops the release of signalling chemicals that play important roles in inflammation.

How do I use Pulmicort?

Your GP or nurse can show you the correct way of using your inhaler.

Before using a Pulmicort Turbohaler for the first time, it must be prepared for use by unscrewing the white cover then lifting it off.

Begin by holding the Turbohaler upright with the brown base at the bottom. The mouthpiece must not be held when turning the grip. The brown base should then be turned all the way in one direction, then back as far as it will go. After doing this, you should hear a click. This procedure should be performed twice. After doing this, your Turbohaler will be ready for use.

Pulmicort is used for the prevention of asthma attacks. It should not be used for the treatment of acute asthma attack.

The Pulmicort Flexhaler is to be used by individuals six years of age or older. Effects can be observed with 24 hours but the maximum effects are to be seen after one to two weeks of regular use.

The dose of Pulmicort Flexhaler varies according to the condition of the individual and how he responds to the medication. Your doctor will instruct you on the right dose for you.

An adult usually receives 2 to 4 puffs of the medication twice daily.

The starting dose of a child is also 2 to 4 puffs twice daily.

For individuals who have mild asthma, a dose of once a day will be sufficient.

Side effects & precautions

Taking Pulmicort may cause your airways to tighten suddenly. This side effect may happen immediately after using the inhaler or nebulizer. Take your rescue inhaler and call your doctor.

Common side effects of Pulmicort include colds, stuffy and runny nose, ear infections, hay fever, stomach flu, and nausea. Additional side effects may include nosebleed, cough, rash, and pink eye.

Inhaled corticosteroid, such as Pulmicort, may cause a fungal infection in the mouth, called thrush. This can be prevented by rinsing your mouth with water after each use of the inhaler or nebulizer. You have to spit out the water after rinsing.

The possibility of an infection is quite high when you use a corticosteroid because it lowers the immune system. The common symptoms of an infection are a pain, fever, aches, chills, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Inform your doctor when you believe you have an infection.

Growth may be slow in children who use corticosteroids. Have your child’s growth monitored by a doctor.

Do not take Pulmicort if you are already having an asthma attack because it does not work fast enough. Instead, use a rescue inhaler.

This medication should not be used by people with severe milk allergy or allergy to any of the ingredients of Pulmicort.

Inform your doctor if you have problems with your eyes, liver, osteoporosis, or immune system because corticosteroids may worsen these conditions.

Studies have shown that budesonide is the preferred inhaled corticosteroid for use by pregnant women. This shows that Pulmicort is safe for use by pregnant women.

The same studies have shown that breastfeeding women can safely use Pulmicort. A very small percentage of the medication passes into the breast milk.

It is best that you inform your doctor about all the medications you are using and have recently used before you start using Pulmicort. This is to prevent any interaction between the medications you are using and Pulmicort.

How do I buy Pulmicort online?

You can safely buy Pulmicort online at UK Meds. You will need first to have an online consultation with a medical doctor before your order of Pulmicort will be supplied. The online consultation will ensure that Pulmicort is the right medication for your medical condition.