Flunisolide is used to prevent and control symptoms (wheezing and shortness of breath) caused by asthma. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It works directly in the lungs to make breathing easier by reducing the irritation and swelling of the airways.
This medication must be used regularly to prevent breathing problems (attacks of wheezing/shortness of breath). It does not work right away and should not be used to relieve an asthma attack. If an attack occurs, use your quick-relief inhaler as prescribed.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. Follow the illustrated directions for the proper use of this medication. If you have any questions, consult your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist.
Shake the canister well before each use. Inhale this medication by mouth, usually 2 times a day or as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
If 2 or more inhalations/puffs for each dose are prescribed, wait at least 1 minute between them. Shake the canister well between each puff.
If you are using other inhalers at the same time, wait at least 1 minute between the use of each medication, and use this drug (the corticosteroid) last.
Use this medication exactly as prescribed. Follow the dosing schedule carefully. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep track of the number of inhalations used. Discard the canister after using the labeled number of inhalations on the package, even if it feels as though there is medication left in the canister. Follow the instructions for cleaning the mouthpiece. Do not wash the metal canister or put any part of it in water.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Learn which of your inhalers you should use every day (controller drugs) and which you should use if your breathing suddenly worsens (quick-relief drugs). Ask your doctor ahead of time what you should do if you have new or worsening cough or shortness of breath, wheezing, increased sputum, worsening peak flow meter readings, waking up at night with trouble breathing, if you use your quick-relief inhaler more often (more than 2 days a week), or if your quick-relief inhaler does not seem to be working well. Learn when you can treat sudden breathing problems by yourself and when you must get medical help right away.
If you are regularly using a different corticosteroid taken by mouth (such as prednisone), you should not stop using it unless directed by your doctor. You may have withdrawal symptoms if the drug is suddenly stopped. Some conditions (such as asthma, allergies) may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. To prevent withdrawal symptoms (such as weakness, weight loss, nausea, muscle pain, headache, tiredness, dizziness), your doctor may direct you to slowly lower the dose of your old medication after you are using flunisolide. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions right away. See also Precautions section.
You may begin to feel this medication working within a week, but it may take 4 weeks before the full benefit of this drug takes effect. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
See also Precautions section.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Infrequently, this medication may cause severe sudden worsening of breathing problems/asthma immediately after use. If you have sudden worsening of breathing, use your quick-relief inhaler and seek immediate medical attention.
Because this drug works by weakening the immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. This may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection (such as ear pain, sore throat, fever, chills). Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush (yeast infection). Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth or on your tongue.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: unusual tiredness, vision problems, easy bruising/bleeding, puffy face, unusual hair growth, mental/mood changes (such as depression, mood swings, agitation), muscle weakness/pain, thinning skin, slow wound healing, increased thirst/urination.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using flunisolide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as menthol), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: eye disease (such as cataracts, glaucoma), liver disease, thyroid problems, diabetes, stomach/intestinal problems (such as diverticulitis, ulcer), bone loss (osteoporosis), current/past infections (such as tuberculosis, positive tuberculosis test, herpes, fungal), bleeding problems, mental/mood conditions (such as psychosis, anxiety, depression).
If you have switched from a corticosteroid taken by mouth (such as prednisone tablets) to this inhaler within the past 12 months, or if you have been using this product in higher-than-usual doses for a long time, it may be more difficult for your body to respond to physical stress. Therefore, before having surgery or emergency treatment, or if you get a serious illness/injury, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication or have used a corticosteroid taken by mouth within the past 12 months. Tell your doctor right away if you develop unusual/extreme tiredness or weight loss. Carry a warning card or medical ID bracelet that says you use (or have used) corticosteroid medications.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This medication may mask signs of infection. It can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Therefore, wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infection. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
Flunisolide may cause vaccines not to work as well. Therefore, do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
This medication may slow down a child's growth if used for a long time, but poorly controlled asthma can also slow down growth. The effect on final adult height is unknown. See the doctor regularly so your child's height can be checked.
This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Infants born to mothers who have been using this medication for an extended time may have low levels of corticosteroid hormone. Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms such as persistent nausea/vomiting, severe diarrhea, or weakness in your newborn.
It is not known if flunisolide passes into breast milk and the effect on a nursing infant is unknown. Discuss the risk and benefits with your doctor before breast-feeding
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: aldesleukin, other drugs that weaken the immune system (such as azathioprine, cyclosporine, cancer chemotherapy), mifepristone.
This product may interfere with certain lab tests (such as skin tests). Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as cortisol levels, eye exams, height/weight measurements, bone density tests) may be performed to monitor your progress and check for side effects.
Avoid allergens (such as pollen, pet dander), irritants, smoking/secondhand smoke, and other factors that make asthma worse. Most people with asthma or ongoing lung disease should receive a flu shot annually. Discuss with your doctor.
In adults, this medication can increase the risk of bone loss (osteoporosis) if used for a long time. Talk with your doctor about your risk, and about available treatments for osteoporosis. Lifestyle changes that reduce the risk of bone loss include doing weight-bearing exercise, getting enough calcium and vitamin D, stopping smoking, and limiting alcohol. To help prevent osteoporosis later in life, encourage children to exercise and eat a healthy diet (including calcium).
Learn to use a peak flow meter and use it daily. Promptly tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens (such as readings in the yellow/red range or increased use of quick-relief inhalers).
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature. Because the canisters are under pressure, do not puncture or burn. Do not use or store near open flame or high heat (more than 120 degrees F/49 degrees C). Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised July 2016. Copyright(c) 2016 First Databank, Inc.
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