Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Budesonide


Last updated on July 26, 2019.

Overview   |   Dosage   |   Side Effects   |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Budesonide


COMMON BRANDS IN HONG KONG: Besonin Aqua 布地奈德鼻噴霧劑, Budena, Budenase AQ 鼻敏舒, Budenofalk, Cortiment, Cycortide, Entocort, Rhinocort Aqua, Pulmicort, Symbicort 信必可 (Contains Budesonide and Formoterol)

What is Budesonide for?

Budesonide belongs to a class of medications called glucocorticoids or steroid hormones. It mainly works by reducing inflammation and has a wide range of uses, including but not limited to: 

  • Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Allergic rihinitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis

How to use it?

Budesonide can be either taken orally (Budenofalk), intranasally (Besonin) or topically as a rectal foam (Budenofalk). When Budesonide is inhaled, it can be done by using a metered dose inhaler (Vannair), nebulizer (Pulmicort respules) and a turbuhaler (Symbicort). When it is used as an inhaler for asthma control, it is usually combined with a long acting bronchodilator such as Formoterol. The adult doses of Budesonide for different uses by different routes of administration are listed below: 

For asthma and COPD

Inhalation of powder: 200-800 mcg/day twice daily. A higher dose might be given depending on the severity of asthma.

Inhalation of nebulized solution

Adult/ Child (12-17 years): 0.25-1 mg twice daily. The maximum dose is 2 mg daily.

Child (6 months – 11 years): 125-500 mcg twice daily. The maximum dose is 2 mg daily.

For allergic rhinitis


Adult/ Child (> 6 years)

Besonin: One spray (64 mcg) into each nostril once daily. 

Rhinocort Aqua: One spray (64 mcg) into each nostril twice daily

For nasal polyps


Adult/ Child (> 12 years)

Besonin: One spray (64 mcg) into each nostril twice daily for up to 3 months.

Rhinocort Aqua: Two sprays (128 mcg) into each nostril once daily or one spray (64 mcg) into each nostril twice daily

For Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis


(Entocort and Budenofalk capsules): 9 mg once daily in the morning for 8 weeks. Once in remission the dose may be reduced to 6 mg once daily.

For ulcerative colitis

Rectal foam

Budenofalk: Apply 2 mg (one metered dose) twice daily for 2 weeks, then apply 2 mg once daily for 4 weeks.

What are the side effects of Budesonide?

When Budesonide is taken by mouth for long-term use, it can have side effects such as anxiety, cataracts, cognitive impairment, fat redistribution (moon face and buffalo hump), fluid retention, gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, impaired wound healing, high blood pressure, increased risk of infection, menstrual cycle irregularities, and osteoporosis.

When Budesonide is used intranasally, it can have side effects such as nose bleeding, nasal ulceration, cough and nasal irritation.

When Budesonide is inhaled, it can have side effects such as upper respiratory tract infection, changes to your voice, and oral thrush (yeast infection).

Where to buy Budesonide in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Budesonide is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

For detailed information about the use of Budesonide in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.