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Budesonide nasal spray

Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 2 minutes read

Budesonide is a type of medication known as a corticosteroid. It is available over the counter for adults to prevent and treat hay fever symptoms. Budesonide can help with sneezing, congestion and an itchy or runny nose.

Doctor’s advice

How do I use it?

Initially, it is recommended that you use two sprays into each nostril once a day in the morning. You can try reducing this to one spray into each nostril in the morning once your symptoms are under control. Budesonide can take a few days to achieve its maximum effect, so it is best to use it regularly each day so you can stop symptoms before they occur.

Instructions on how to administer the spray are listed below.

  • First, give the bottle a shake, remove the cap and gently blow your nose.
  • Hold the nasal spray with one hand, placing your thumb underneath the bottle and your middle and index fingers on the pump opposite the nozzle.
  • Place the nozzle into one nostril, only as far as is comfortable, and put a finger from the other hand over the other nostril to close it.
  • Tilt your head forward, keeping the bottle upright, and press down on the pump to release the spray.
  • If you use a new Budesonide spray or have not used it in a while, press down on the pump before use to check it is working – it should produce a fine mist.

You should speak with your doctor or pharmacist before using Budesonide for longer than a month or if your symptoms do not start to improve after seven days of use.

How does it work?

Budesonide reduces inflammation in the nasal passages, the root cause of hay fever symptoms. It does this because it is a manufactured version of a corticosteroid, a hormone produced naturally in our bodies. Having the same structure as corticosteroids in our bodies causes the same effect, in this case, reducing inflammation.

Who should not use the medication?

Do not use Budesonide if you have previously had an allergic reaction to it or another ingredient listed in the medication. Unless prescribed by a doctor, Budesonide should not be used by anyone under 18.

Speak with your doctor or pharmacist before using Budesonide if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have any nose problems, such as an injury, infection, ulcers or recent surgery.

Budesonide can interact with other medications, such as ritonavir, cobicistat, ketoconazole and other corticosteroids. If you take any prescription, over-the-counter or herbal medicines, ask your doctor or pharmacist to check it they are safe to take alongside Budesonide.

Are there any side effects?

Like all medications, some people may experience side effects. Possible side effects from Benacort can include nose bleeds, irritation, soreness and drying of the nose. Seek urgent medical advice if you develop eye problems, such as blurring, clouding or loss of vision.

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This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
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