budesonide nasal inhaler

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua, Rhinocort Allergy), and how does it work?

  • Budesonide is a synthetic steroid belonging to the glucocorticoid family, a family in which cortisol (hydrocortisone) is the naturally occurring steroid.
  • Hydrocortisone is produced in the adrenal glands.
  • Glucocorticoid steroids have potent anti-inflammatory actions.
  • When used as a nasal inhaler or spray, budesonide travels directly to the lining of the nose, and only 20% of the administered dose is absorbed into the body.

What brand names are available for budesonide?

  • Brand names available for budesonide in the US include:
    • Rhinocort Aqua
    • Rhinocort Allergy
  • Rhinocort is a discontinued brand for budesonide in the US.

Is budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua, Rhinocort Allergy) available as a generic drug?

  • No

Do I need a prescription for budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua, Rhinocort Allergy)?

  • Yes, OTC (Rhinocort Allergy)

What are the uses for budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua, Rhinocort Allergy)?

  • Budesonide is used for the management of symptoms of allergic rhinitis, a condition in which fluid accumulates within the lining of the nose leading to obstruction to the flow of air. Fluid also is released into the nasal passages.
  • In addition, budesonide is used for the treatment and prevention of nasal polyps.

What are the side effects of budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua, Rhinocort Allergy)?

The most common side effects associated with nasal budesonide are:

Other side effects include:

What is the dosage for budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua, Rhinocort Allergy)?

  • In adults and in children over the age of 6 years, the recommended starting dose of budesonide is 1 spray in each nostril once daily.
  • The maximum dose for children older than 12 years of age and adults is 4 sprays per nostril once daily.
  • The maximum dose for children younger than 12 years of age is 2 sprays per nostril once daily.

Which drugs or supplements interact with budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua, Rhinocort Allergy)?

The following drugs increase the concentration in blood of budesonide by decreasing the elimination of budesonide from the body. This may lead to an increase in the side effects of budesonide.

Is budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua, Rhinocort Allergy) safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

  • When given orally to animals, glucocorticoid steroids similar to budesonide have been shown to cause fetal abnormalities. Studies of pregnant women using inhaled budesonide during early pregnancy do not show an increase in the rate of fetal abnormalities. Nevertheless, since these studies cannot completely exclude rare abnormalities, budesonide should be used during pregnancy only if it clearly is needed.
  • Budesonide is secreted in breast milk at concentrations of 0.3% to 1% of the inhaled dose. Budesonide should only be used by breast feeding mothers when clearly needed, and the lowest effective dose and other strategies to reduce infant exposure should be used.

What else should I know about budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua, Rhinocort Allergy)?

What preparations of budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua, Rhinocort Allergy) are available?
  • Nasal Spray: 32 mcg/spray
How should I keep budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua, Rhinocort Allergy) stored?
  • Budesonide should be kept at room temperature, 15 C-30 C (59 F-86 F). It should be shaken well before each use.
When was budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua, Rhinocort Allergy) approved by the FDA?
  • Intranasal budesonide was approved by the FDA in 1994.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Allergy and Asthma Newsletter

By clicking "Submit," I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.


Budesonide nasal inhaler-spray (Rhinocort Allergy, Rhinocort Aqua) is a medication prescribed for the management of the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and the treatment and prevention of nasal polyps. Common side effects of budesonide include

Other side effects include:

Drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to using this drug.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Prevention & Wellness

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information