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Pronounced: AIR-oh-bid
Generic name: Flunisolide

Why is this drug prescribed: AeroBid is prescribed for people who need long-term treatment to control and prevent the symptoms of asthma. It contains an anti-inflammatory steroid type of medication and may reduce or eliminate your need for other corticosteroids. A nasal-spray form of the drug (Nasalide) is available for relief of hay fever.

Most important fact about this drug: AeroBid helps to reduce the likelihood of an asthma attack, but will not relieve one that has already started. To be effective as a preventive measure, it must be taken every day at regularly spaced intervals. It may be several weeks before you receive its full benefit.

How should you take this medication: Take this medication at regular intervals, exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Administration technique: Place the metal cartridge inside the plastic container. Remove the cap; inspect the mouthpiece for foreign objects. Shake the inhaler thoroughly. Tilt your head slightly and breathe out as completely as possible. Hold the inhaler upright and put the plastic mouthpiece in your mouth; close your lips tightly around it. Press down on the metal cartridge. At the same time, take a slow, deep breath through your mouth. Hold your breath as long as you can. While holding your breath, stop pressing down on the cartridge and remove the mouthpiece from your mouth. Allow at least 1 minute between inhalations. To help reduce hoarseness, throat irritation, and mouth infection, rinse out with water after each use. If your mouth is sore or has a rash, tell your doctor. Illustrated instructions for use are available with the product. --If you miss a dose... Use it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage instructions... Store away from heat or cold and light. Keep away from open flames.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking AeroBid. More common side effects may include: Cold symptoms, diarrhea, flu, headache, infection of the upper respiratory tract, nasal congestion, nausea, sore throat, unpleasant taste, upset stomach, vomiting Less common side effects may include: Abdominal pain, chest congestion, chest pain, cough, decreased appetite, dizziness, ear infection, eczema (inflamed skin with sores and crusting), fever, heartburn, hoarseness, inflamed lining of the nose, irritability, itching, loss of smell or taste, menstrual disturbances, nervousness, phlegm, rapid, fluttering heartbeat, rash, runny nose, shakiness, sinus congestion, sinus drainage, sinus infection, sinus inflammation, sneezing, swelling due to fluid retention, wheezing, yeastlike fungal infection of the mouth and throat Rare side effects may include: Acne, anxiety, blurred vision, bronchitis, chest tightness, chills, constipation, depression, difficult or labored breathing, dry throat, earache, excessive restlessness, eye discomfort, eye infection, faintness, fatigue, gas, general feeling of illness, head stuffiness, high blood pressure, hives, inability to fall or stay asleep, increased appetite, indigestion, inflammation of the tongue, laryngitis, moodiness, mouth irritation, nasal irritation, nosebleed, numbness, pneumonia, rapid heart rate, sinus discomfort, sluggishness, sweating, swelling of the arms and legs, throat irritation, vertigo, weakness, weight gain

Why should this drug not be prescribed: This medication is not for treatment of prolonged, severe asthma attacks where more intensive measures are required. If you are allergic or sensitive to AeroBid or other steroid drugs, advise your doctor. This medication may not be right for you.

Special warnings about this medication: Your asthma should be reasonably stable before treatment with AeroBid Inhaler is started. AeroBid should be started in combination with your usual dose of an oral steroid medication. After approximately 1 week, your doctor will start to withdraw gradually the oral steroid by reducing the daily or alternate daily dose. A slow rate of reduction is very important, as some people have experienced withdrawal symptoms such as joint and/or muscular pain, fatigue, and depression. Tell your doctor if you lose weight or feel light-headed. You may need to take more oral corticosteroid temporarily. This medication is not useful when you need rapid relief of asthma symptoms. Transferring from steroid tablet therapy to AeroBid Inhaler may produce allergic conditions that were previously controlled by the steroid tablet therapy. These include rhinitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose), conjunctivitis (pinkeye), and eczema. Contact your doctor immediately if you have an asthma attack that isn't controlled by a bronchodilator while you are being treated with AeroBid. You may need an oral steroid drug. While you are being treated with AeroBid, particularly at higher doses, your doctor will carefully observe you for any evidence of side effects such as the suppression of glandular function and diminished bone growth in children. If you have just had surgery or are under extreme stress, your doctor will also closely monitor you. The use of AeroBid may cause a yeastlike fungal infection of the mouth, pharynx (throat), or larynx (voice box). If you suspect a fungal infection, notify your doctor. Treatment with antifungal medication may be necessary. Since the contents of this inhalant are under pressure, do not puncture the container and do not use or store the medication near heat or an open flame. Exposure to temperatures above 120 degrees may cause the container to explode. People taking drugs such as AeroBid that suppress the immune system are more open to infection. Take extra care to avoid exposure to measles and chickenpox if you've never had them or never had shots. Such diseases can be serious or even fatal when your immune system is below par. If you are exposed, tell your doctor immediately. Also, if you have tuberculosis, a herpes infection of the eye, or any other kind of infection, make sure the doctor knows about it. You probably should not use AeroBid.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: No interactions have been reported.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of AeroBid during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. It is not known whether AeroBid appears in breast milk. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding your baby until your treatment with this medication is finished.

Recommended dosage: The AeroBid Inhaler system is for oral inhalation only. ADULTS: The recommended starting dose is 2 inhalations twice daily, in the morning and evening, for a total daily dose of 1 milligram. The daily dose should not exceed 4 inhalations twice a day, for a total daily dose of 2 milligrams. CHILDREN: For children 6 to 15 years of age, 2 inhalations may be used twice daily, for a total daily dose of 1 milligram. The safety and effectiveness of this drug have not been established in children under 6 years of age.

Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.

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