Budesonide nasal spray eases the symptoms of having a stuffy, runny or itchy nose (rhinitis).
It may take a few days of treatment before you feel the full effect.
If you are using it for hay fever, start using it 2-3 weeks before the hay fever season begins and use it regularly.
Any side-effects are usually mild.
About budesonide nasal spray
|Type of medicine||Corticosteroid|
|Used for||Nasal symptoms caused by allergies; nasal polyps|
|Also called||Rhinocort Aqua®; Benacort®|
|Available as||Nasal spray|
Budesonide nasal spray is used to prevent or ease rhinitis. This is a condition where the inside of your nose becomes inflamed and irritated. Common symptoms include sneezing, a blocked or congested nose, a runny nose (watery discharge), and an itchy nose. It is commonly caused by allergies, such as hay fever. Budesonide belongs to a group of medicines called corticosteroids. It reduces inflammation and swelling and so relieves the congestion, itching, sneezing, irritation and discomfort of rhinitis. Budesonide nasal spray is prescribable by a doctor. You can also buy smaller packs at a pharmacy, without a prescription, for the treatment of hay fever.
Budesonide nasal spray is also prescribed as a treatment for nasal polyps. Polyps are small growths inside the nose that can cause symptoms similar to allergic rhinitis.
Before using budesonide nasal spray
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start using budesonide, it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you have an infection in your nose.
- If you have recently had any surgery on your nose.
- If you have tuberculosis (TB).
- If you are pregnant. This is because, while you are expecting a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- If it is intended for a child. Budesonide is suitable for children over the age of 12, but only if it has been prescribed by a doctor.
- If you are taking or using other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to use budesonide nasal spray
- Read the manufacturer's instructions to make sure you know how to work the spray.
- Shake the bottle and remove the protective cap. (Before you use the spray for the first time, activate the spray a few times until you can see a fine mist in the air.)
- Blow your nose gently to clear it.
- Close one nostril by placing a finger against one side of your nose. Then, using your other hand, put one finger on each side of the nozzle of the bottle and insert the nozzle into your open nostril. Try to keep the bottle upright as you do this.
- Activate the spray by pushing down on the collar around the bottle. Repeat if you are using two sprays for each dose.
- Repeat the step above in your other nostril.
- Wipe the nozzle with a clean tissue and replace the cap. (If the nozzle becomes blocked, you can remove it from the bottle and rinse it under warm water.)
Getting the most from your treatment
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. This will give you a step-by-step guide of how to use the spray, and will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from using it.
- When you first start using budesonide, it is usual to use either two sprays into each nostril each morning, or one spray into each nostril twice a day. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you which is right for you. Once your symptoms are controlled, you may be advised to reduce this to just one spray into both nostrils once a day. Treatment with budesonide may be continued for up to three months, but your doctor will advise you how long is right for you.
- If you are using the spray for hay fever, your doctor may recommend that you start using it 2-3 weeks before the hay fever season starts. This is because it takes a few days of treatment before you feel the full effect, so starting before the pollen count rises will help to prevent symptoms from developing.
- Try to remember to use budesonide spray regularly, even if your symptoms are controlled. If you forget a dose at your usual time, take it as soon as you remember unless your next dose is due. If your next dose is due then have the dose which is due and leave out the forgotten one. Do not 'double up' to make up for a missed dose.
- Do not use the spray more often, or for a longer period of time, than is recommended by your doctor or pharmacist. This could increase the risk of side-effects.
Can budesonide nasal spray cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with budesonide nasal spray. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet inside your pack. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common budesonide nasal spray side-effects (these affect fewer than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Slight bleeding from the nose, sneezing, irritation||If any become troublesome, let your doctor know. An alternative preparation may be more suitable for you|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the spray, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store budesonide nasal spray
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store the spray upright in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
- Check the label for how long you can use budesonide spray once it has been opened. Do not use or store the spray for longer than this time.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading and references
Manufacturer's PIL, Rhinocort Aqua® 64 micrograms nasal spray; McNeil Products Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated August 2019.
British National Formulary, 80th Edition (Sep 2020); British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.