GENERIC NAME: CORTICOSTEROIDS - ORAL AEROSOL INHALER
WARNING: If you have switched from an oral corticosteroid (e.g., prednisone tablets) to this inhaler within the past 12 months, or if you have been using this product in higher-than-usual doses and suddenly stop using it, your body may not produce enough natural steroids. You may need to start taking additional corticosteroids, especially if your body is stressed due to a major infection, surgery or injury. Deaths have sometimes occurred during such stresses, due to low steroid levels. Tell your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur: unusual weakness, weight loss, dizziness. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and inform them that you use (or have used) any type of corticosteroid. Carry a warning card or medical ID bracelet that identifies your need for oral corticosteroids during times of stress as noted. 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.
USES: Inhaled corticosteroids work directly in the lungs to open airways and make breathing easier by relieving inflammation. This medication must be used regularly to prevent wheezing and shortness of breath caused by asthma, bronchitis or emphysema. This medication does not work immediately. Therefore it does not relieve an acute attack.
HOW TO USE: Make sure you understand how to use the inhaler properly. Shake the canister well before using. When using the inhaler for the first time, test the unit by spraying at least once into the air. A fine mist indicates that the inhaler is working properly. It is recommended you use a spacer/holding chamber. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about this. If using without a spacing device, place the canister near your mouth and exhale. Depress the canister as you inhale deeply. Hold your breath for a few seconds to allow the drug to be absorbed. Shake the inhaler again before using. If more than one inhalation is prescribed, wait one full minute between inhalations so you get the full effects of the first dose. If using other inhalers, wait several minutes between the use of the inhalers and use this one (the corticosteroid) last. Gargle and rinse your mouth after using this to help prevent dryness, relieve throat irritation and to prevent oral yeast infections. Do not swallow the rinse solution. Use this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not use it more frequently without your doctor's approval.
SIDE EFFECTS: May cause a cough, a dry irritated throat, unpleasant taste, hoarseness or nasal congestion, pain or headache. If these effects continue or become bothersome, contact your doctor. Notify your doctor if you experience: white-colored tongue, prolonged mouth or throat irritation, vision changes. In the unlikely event you have a serious allergic reaction to this drug, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
PRECAUTIONS: Before you use this drug, tell your doctor your medical history including: all illnesses and infections, recent exposure to contagious diseases (e.g., chickenpox), glaucoma, cataracts, allergies (especially drug allergies). If you cough up mucus that has thickened or changed color from clear white to yellow, green, or gray, contact your doctor; these changes may be signs of an infection. Caution is advised when using this drug in children. Though it is unlikely to occur with inhaled steroids, this medication may temporarily slow down a child's rate of growth, but it will probably not affect final adult height. Monitor your child's height periodically. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This drug may be excreted into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Before you use this drug tell your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medications you are taking, especially of: oral corticosteroids (e.g., dexamethasone, prednisone). Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., morning cortisol levels) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details. Inform all your doctors you use (or have used) this medication.
MISSED DOSE: Use the missed dose as soon as remembered. Use the remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
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