Generic name: BudesonideBrand names: Entocort EC
Entocort EC is used to treat Crohn's disease, a chronic intestinal inflammation that causes sustained diarrhea and abdominal pain. The drug contains the anti-inflammatory steroid budesonide in a special formulation that concentrates in the intestines, thereby reducing its impact on the rest of the body.
Although Entocort EC isn't released until it reaches the intestines, it can still produce some of the side effects typical of other steroid medications, including reduced resistance to infection. Common diseases such as chickenpox and measles can be much more severe in people taking steroids. Be careful to avoid anyone who has such an infection. If, despite caution, you are exposed to one of these diseases, see your doctor immediately. You can be given a protective shot of immune globulin.
Entocort EC capsules should be swallowed whole; do not chew or break the capsules.
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 Entocort EC.
You cannot take Entocort EC if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it.
A high level of steroids in the system can lead to symptoms such as acne, easy bruising, swollen ankles, an increase in the size of the face and neck, excessive facial hair growth, irregular menstrual periods, and skin discoloration. If you develop any of these symptoms, alert your doctor.
Also check with your doctor immediately if you develop itching, rash, fever, swelling in the face or throat, or trouble breathing. These could be signs of an allergic reaction.
Because Entocort EC's effects are largely restricted to the intestines, switching to Entocort EC from a steroid that affects the entire body can allow previously suppressed allergies to reappear. If you develop symptoms such as a runny nose or eczema, tell your doctor about it.
Make sure your doctor knows if you have tuberculosis, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, ulcers, cataracts, or high pressure in the eyes (glaucoma), or if anyone in your family has had diabetes or glaucoma. Steroids should be used with caution under these circumstances.
Also make sure the doctor knows if you have a liver condition; you may need a lower dose of Entocort EC.
Because steroids can reduce the body's natural ability to cope with stress, you may need a higher dose when you undergo any type of surgery.
Grapefruit juice can increase the amount of Entocort EC in your blood stream. Do not drink grapefruit juice during your course of therapy with Entocort EC.
If Entocort EC is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Entocort EC with the following:Antifungal medications such as itraconazole and ketoconazoleErythromycinIndinavirRitonavirSaquinavir
This drug should be used during pregnancy only if its benefits outweigh the possibility of harm to the developing baby. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, notify your doctor immediately.
Steroid medications do appear in breast milk. This drug is not recommended for nursing mothers.
The recommended dosage is 9 milligrams (three 3-milligram capsules) every morning for up to 8 weeks. Your doctor may reduce the dose to 6 milligrams per day for the last 2 weeks of treatment. If symptoms return, the doctor can prescribe another 8-week course of therapy.
High doses of steroids taken for long periods can produce the symptoms summarized under "Special warnings about Entocort EC." Single massive overdoses are rare, but can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.