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NZ Formulary

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Budesonide (capsule or tablet)

bew-dess-oh-nide

What does it do?

Budesonide is a steroid medicine used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease.

How should you take it?

Take budesonide regularly as directed in the morning. Swallow whole with a glass of water.
If you have trouble swallowing you can open the capsules and sprinkle the contents on a small amount of soft food and swallow without chewing. Do not crush the capsule contents.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

These side effects happen less often with budesonide capsules or tablets than with other steroid medicines.

Side EffectsRecommended action

Changes in vision

Peeing more often, feeling thirsty

Muscle or bone aches and pains

Tell your doctor

Mood changes, restlessness, trouble sleeping

Weight gain, swollen feet or legs

Skin thinning, acne, stomach upset

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Do not stop taking budesonide suddenly without talking to your doctor first. Your doctor may reduce the dose gradually.
  • Long term use of steroids may be associated with a range of side effects such as: round face, change in body shape, change in hair growth, thinning of the bones, increased blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Tell your doctor if you have stomach, heart or liver problems.
  • Tell your doctor if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma or osteoporosis, a mood disorder, or if you have ever had a seizure.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Budesonide may make infections worse or more common. Contact your doctor if you become unwell or come into contact with someone who has a contagious illness such as chicken pox or measles.
  • Grapefruit, grapefruit juice or sour/Seville oranges may react with budesonide. Discuss with your pharmacist.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. September 2020

For more general information about this sheet annd its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed