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Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.



COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Rhinocort Aqua

WARNING: If you have switched from an oral corticosteroid (e.g., prednisone tablets) to this inhaler within the past 12 months, your body may not produce enough natural steroids. You may need to start taking additional corticosteroids, especially if your body is stressed due to major infections such as stomach infections (gastroenteritis), surgery, or injury. Deaths have occurred during such stresses, due to low steroid levels. Consult your doctor or pharmacist now for specific advice regarding stress situations. You may need to carry a supply of corticosteroid tablets as a precaution. Routine blood tests may be performed (e.g., morning cortisol levels). Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following signs of low steroid levels: unusual weakness, sudden weight loss, vomiting, fainting or severe dizziness. Carry a warning card or medical ID bracelet that identifies your need for oral corticosteroids during times of stress as noted.


This is an anti-inflammatory medication (corticosteroid) which acts in the nose to reduce congestion. It is used to treat the stuffy nose caused by allergies. It is also used to prevent and treat nasal polyps.

How To Use

This medication is usually used once or twice a day as directed. Do not increase your dose, use this more frequently or stop using this medication without first consulting your doctor. This medication is for use in the nose. A health care professional should instruct you on the proper use of the nasal spray. For best results, follow the instructions closely. To use the nasal spray, shake the bottle then remove the protective cap from the nose piece. The first time the spray is used, the pump must be "primed" by pushing down on the collar 5 to 10 times using your index and middle fingers until a fine spray appears. It may be necessary to prime the pump 1 or 2 times before using if it is not used daily. Before using, gently blow your nose to clear the nasal passages to ensure that the drug reaches deep into the nose. Tilt your head forward, close one nostril with a finger and gently insert the tip of the nose piece into the other nostril. Press down on the collar to deliver the spray and gently breathe in through the nostril then out through the mouth. Repeat this for the other nostril. (If you are using another type of nasal spray in the same nostril, wait a minute between sprays.) After each use, clean the nosepiece and the cap in warm water.

Side Effects

Dry or irritated nose or throat, sneezing, dizziness or headache may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. A bad taste in the mouth may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, inform your doctor. Rinse your mouth after each use if this causes a strange taste in your mouth. Notify your doctor if you develop: rash, sore throat, fever, repeated nasal bleeding, sores in the nose, swelling of the face, wheezing, breathing trouble, behavioral changes (especially in in children), green or yellow-colored nasal secretions. Very unlikely to occur but report promptly the following side effects: unusual weakness, weight loss, nausea/vomiting, fainting, dizziness, vision changes. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: thyroid problems, liver disease, infection, recent nasal surgery or trauma, allergies (especially drug allergies). Though very unlikely, it is possible this medication will be absorbed into your bloodstream. This may have undesirable consequences that may require additional corticosteroid treatment. This is especially true for children and for those who have used this for an extended period if they also have serious medical problems such as serious infections, injuries or surgeries. This precaution applies for up to one year after stopping use of this drug. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Caution is advised in children as this drug may affect growth patterns. Consult child's doctor. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Based on information for similar drugs, budesonide may pass into breast milk. Therefore, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medication you may take, especially of: oral corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, all allergy medications. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.


It may take 2 to 3 days and up to 2 weeks before the effects of this medication are seen. Maximum benefit results from regular use as prescribed. If no improvement is noted after 3 weeks of continued use, contact your doctor. If nasal passages are blocked, oral steroids or decongestants may be used to open the passages before this medication is started. Inform all your doctors you use, or have used, this medication.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as remembered; do not use it if it is near the time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.


Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees) away from heat and light as directed. Keep out of reach of children. Keep container in upright position.