Manufactured by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, Pulmicort turbohaler is a very effective preventer asthma medication developed with the aim of stopping asthma symptoms before they occur, alleviating the inflammation of the airways within the lungs (bronchi). The mode of administration of the turbohaler is rather similar to traditional inhalers with one important difference – the user doesn’t have to press a button during use, meaning you don’t have to worry about syncing dispersion with your breathing rhythm. This makes Pulmicort suitable for children too.
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Very adept at preventing attack, Pulmicort turbohaler can produce noticeable results in as little as two days. On top of that, it is a branded asthma medicine that has been thoroughly tested in numerous clinical trials.
Importance of Pulmicort turbohaler for asthma treatment in the UK
Just within the United Kingdom, there are more than 5 million people affected by asthma. With different individuals being affected by different triggers and reacting to different active ingredients, all diversity on the asthma treatment market is always welcome. The root causes of asthma are, as of now, still not fully understood, so the condition is diagnosed through its symptoms and the medicine available now is all directed towards alleviating those symptoms, including:
- Sudden and temporary exacerbations of symptoms (also known as asthma attacks)
As for root causes of asthma, heightened immune response is the main suspect, but the research in the field has yet to give any final conclusions. For now, we know that an asthma response occurs when the body is exposed to various triggers. They can be rather varied, ranging from outside factors such as smoke particles, allergens, vapours, dust, mould, chemical fumes and vapours, to things such as difference between hot air in the lungs and cold air on the outside, non-optimal levels of air moisture, physical activity and even emotional stress.
The causes of asthma symptoms
However, all the various asthma symptoms can be explained by the characteristic inflammation of the bronchi and trachea (tubes connecting the lungs and the windpipe) and the subsequent swelling of the muscle walls lining these airways. When this happens, the airways will become narrower, making breathing harder. In some patients, additional mucus can develop, making respiration even more difficult.
How does Pulmicort turbohaler help with asthma?
At the root of Pulmicort’s high effectiveness is its active ingredient, budesonide. This substance is classified as a corticosteroid. Unlike beta-blockers such as Ventolin, this type of pharmaceutical compounds work by blocking the release of certain chemicals by the immune system in response to a trigger. In this manner, Pulmicort manages to reduce the inflammatory processes and decrease the likelihood of asthma symptoms. At the same time, it has been proven to be rather effective in the prevention of the production of obstructing mucus.
How to use Pulmicort turbohaler?
In order to ensure optimal results with Pulmicort, it is important to precisely adhere to the guidelines regarding use, specified in the patient information leaflet. In addition, your doctor will give you precise instructions, not only regarding the method of administering the medicine, but also about the exact dosage and other variables that might be specified just for your specific case.
Here we will present you with most general guidelines regarding the use of Pulmicort turbohaler:
- Depending on the severity of the symptoms, you will be prescribed one or two inhalations, once or twice daily
- Any change in dose must be approved by your doctor
- To prepare the turbohaler, simply twist the base in one direction and then the other until you hear a click
- Unscrew and remove the lid
- Breathe out fully
- Place the turbohaler in your mouth
- Inhale through the device
- Slowly breathe out
- Repeat the above steps for a second inhalation (if prescribed so)
- Replace the lid following use
- Never exceed the prescribed dose
- Do not stop taking the medication without doctor’s approval
- If you miss a dose, do not compensate by doubling up on the next one – instead, continue with the recommended treatment
What are Pulmicort side effects?
While not everyone using this medicine will experience the side effects, it is still important to learn as much as possible about what could go wrong prior to starting Pulmicort treatment. This way, you will be able to identify side effects fast if they do appear and ask for a timely medical advice. As with all other asthma medication, if you notice symptoms or allergic reaction (or the worsening of asthma symptoms), contact your doctor immediately.
The most common side effects of Pulmicort are the same as for most of other asthma medicines, including thrush in the mouth, mild sore throat, coughing and hoarse voice. However, rarer side effects, observed in one in a thousand of patients can include:
- Sleeping problems
- Depression or anxiety
- Bruising on the skin
Are there any Pulmicort interactions?
Pulmicort is known to interact with other medicines. Some of them may adversely affect the efficiency of the treatment or even increase the chances for side effects to manifest. Medicines you should avoid using alongside Pulmicort include:
- Anti-fungal medicines (such as itraconazole or ketoconazole)
- Protease inhibitors used in HIV treatment (ritonavir or nelfinavir)
There are certain cases in which the use of Pulmicort turbohaler won’t be recommended due to an already existing medical condition other than asthma. This can be true if you’ve been diagnosed with:
- Lung infections
- Common cold or influenza
- Chest infection
- Liver problems
In addition, as opposed to many other prescription medicines out there, Pulmicort won’t interact with alcohol, nor will it affect your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. However, if you’re pregnant or are currently breastfeeding, it would be better to consult with your doctor about the safety of your treatment for your baby – the exact dose can play an important role in determining whether this is safe.