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You are here: Home » eGM Resources » Health Information & Resources Portal|Home » RX Drug List (listed alphabetically) » Drug Reference (B's) » Budesonide


Budesonide, the active component of Rhinocort nasal inhaler, Rhinocort Aqua nasal spray, and Pulmicort Turbuhaler is an anti-inflammatory, synthetic corticosteroid. It is designated chemically as (RS)-11b,16a,17,21-Tetrahydroxy-pregna-1,4-diene-3,20-dione cyclic 16,17-acetal with butraldehyde. Budesonide is provided as the mixture of two epimers (22R and 22S). The empirical formula of budesonide is C25H34O6 and its molecular weight is 430.5.

Budesonide is a white to off-white tasteless, odorless powder that is practically insoluble in water and in heptane, sparingly soluble in ethanol, and freely soluble in chloroform.

Rhinocort Nasal Inhaler: A metered-dose pressurized aerosol unit containing a suspension of micronized budesonide in a mixture of propellants, (dichlorodifluoromethane, trichloromonofluoromethane, and dichlorotetrafluoroethane) and sorbitan trioleate. Each actuation releases 50 mcg budesonide from the valve and delivers approximately 32 mcg budesonide from the nasal adapter (dose to patient). Throughout the package insert 32 mcg per actuation is used to calculate the dose administered. One canister provides at least 200 metered doses.

Its partition coefficient between octanol and water at pH 7.4 is 1.6 ´ 103.

Rhinocort Aqua Nasal Spray: Rhinocort Aqua is an unscented, metered-dose, manual-pump spray formulation containing a micronized suspension of budesonide in an aqueous medium. Microcrystalline cellulose and carboxymethyl cellulose sodium, dextrose anhydrous, polysorbate 80, disodium edetate, potassium sorbate, and purified water are contained in this medium; hydrochloric acid is added to adjust the pH to a target of 4.5.

Rhinocort Aqua nasal spray is available in two dose strengths which deliver 32 mcg and 64 mcg, respectively, of budesonide per spray. Each Bottle of Rhinocort Aqua Nasal Spray 32 mcg: Contains 60 or 120 metered sprays after initial priming. Each Bottle of Rhinocort Aqua Nasal Spray 64 mcg: Contains 120 metered sprays after initial priming.

Prior to initial use, the container must be shaken gently and the pump must be primed by actuating 8 times. If used daily, the pump does not need to be reprimed. If not used for two consecutive days, reprime with one spray or until a fine spray appears. If not used for more than 14 days, rinse the applicator and reprime with two sprays or until a fine spray appears.

Its partition coefficient between octanol and water at pH 5 is 1.6 ´ 103.

Pulmicort Turbuhaler: Pulmicort Turbuhaler is an inhalation-driven multi-dose dry powder inhaler which contains only micronized budesonide. Each actuation of Pulmicort Turbuhaler provides 200 mcg budesonide per metered dose, which delivers approximately 160 mcg budesonide from the mouthpiece (based on in vitro testing at 60 L/min for 2 sec). The amount of drug delivered to the lung will depend on patient factors such as inspiratory wflow (see PATIENT PACKAGE INSERT). In adult patients with asthma (mean FEV1 2.9 L [0.8 - 5.1 L]) mean peak inspiratory wflow (PIF) through Pulmicort Turbuhaler was 78 (40-111) L/min. Similar results (mean PIF 82 [43-125] L/min) were obtained in asthmatic children (6-15 years, mean FEV1 2.1 L [0.9 - 5.4 L]).

Its partition coefficient between octanol and water at pH 7.4 is 1.6 ´ 103.


CATEGORIES: Asthma; Rhinitis, perennial allergic; Rhinitis, perennial nonallergic; Rhinitis, seasonal allergic; FDA Class 1S ("Standard Review"); FDA Approved 1994 Feb; Pregnancy Category C; Top 200 Drugs

FDA Drug Classes: Corticosteroids


BRAND NAMES: Budecort; Budecort Nasal; Budicort Respules; Butacort; Eltair; Nasocort; Pulmicort; Pulmicort Nasal Turbohaler; Rhinocort
(Foreign Brand names outside U.S. in italics)

Budecort Nasal (Philippines)
Budicort Respules (Israel)
Butacort (New-Zealand)
Eltair (New-Zealand)
Nasocort (Israel)
Pulmicort Nasal Turbohaler (Korea)

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