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budesonide (Entocort EC, Uceris) for IBD: Side Effects & Dosage

What is budesonide (Entocort EC, Uceris)?

  • Budesonide is a synthetic (man-made) steroid of the glucocorticoid family that is used for treating
    Crohn’s disease.

What brand names are available for budesonide?

  • Entocort EC and
    Uceris are brand names for budesonide in the US.

Why is budesonide (Entocort EC, Uceris) prescribed to patients?

  • Budesonide is used for the treatment of mild-to-moderately-active Crohn’s disease involving the ileum (the second half of the small intestine) and/or ascending colon (the beginning of the
    large intestine). It is approved for maintaining remissions for up to three months.
  • Budesonide also is used for the induction of remission in patients with active, mild to moderate ulcerative colitis.
  • Budesonide rectal foam is used for the induction of remission in patients with active mild to moderate distal ulcerative colitis extending up to 40 cm from the anus.

What are the side effects of budesonide (Entocort EC, Uceris)?

The most common side effects of budesonide are:

Excessive corticosteroid use causes:

Serious side effects of budesonide include:

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What is the dosage for budesonide (Entocort EC, Uceris)?

  • The recommended dose for active Crohn’s disease is 9 mg once daily in the morning for up to 8 weeks.
  • The 8 week course may be repeated for recurring episodes.
  • The dose for maintenance of remission is 6 mg once daily for 3 months.
  • The recommended dosage for the induction of remission in adult patients with active, mild to moderate
    ulcerative colitis is one 9 mg extended release tablet to be taken once daily in the morning for up to 8 weeks.
  • The recommended dose for the spray is 1 spray administered twice daily for 2 weeks followed by 1 spray once daily for 4 weeks.

Which drugs or supplements interact with budesonide (Entocort EC, Uceris)?

Medicines which block the liver enzymes that break down budesonide may lead to higher blood concentrations and more side effects of budesonide. Such medications include

Grapefruit juice has a similar effect and should not be consumed by patients taking budesonide.


What is Crohn's disease?
See Answer

Is budesonide (Entocort EC, Uceris) safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

  • There are no adequate studies in pregnant women. Budesonide should only be used in pregnant women if the benefits outweigh the unknown risk. Use of budesonide
    during pregnancy may suppress the adrenal glands of the infant.
  • Budesonide is secreted in human breast milk. Because of the potential for adverse reactions in
    nursing infants from any corticosteroid, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the budesonide.

What else should I know about budesonide (Entocort EC, Uceris)?

What preparations of budesonide (Entocort EC, Uceris) are available?
  • Capsules: 3 mg
  • Tablets (Extended Release): 9 mg
  • Rectal
    foam: 2 mg per spray
How should I keep budesonide (Entocort EC, Uceris) stored?
  • Capsules should be stored between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F)
How does budesonide (Entocort EC, Uceris) work?
  • The naturally-occurring hormone whose actions budesonide mimics, is cortisol or hydrocortisone which is produced by the adrenal glands. Glucocorticoid steroids have potent anti-inflammatory actions.
    Crohn’s disease is a chronic
    inflammatory bowel disease of unknown cause that results in
    diarrhea, crampy
    abdominal pain,
    fever and bleeding from the rectum. The active ingredient in Budesonide, is released from granules in the
    ileum of the small intestine and the right (proximal) colon, where the inflammation of
    Crohn’s disease occurs. Budesonide acts directly by contact with the ileum and colon. Budesonide that is absorbed into the body travels first to the
    liver where it is broken-down and eliminated from the body. This prevents the majority of the absorbed drug from being distributed to the rest of the body. As a result, budesonide causes fewer severe side effects throughout the body than other
When was budesonide (Entocort EC, Uceris) approved by the FDA?
  • The FDA approved budesonide in October of 2001.

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