Safety profile of budesonide inhalation suspension in the pediatric population: worldwide experience

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To review the worldwide safety data for budesonide inhalation suspension (Pulmicort Respules) to provide a budesonide inhalation suspension pediatric tolerability profile.

Data Sources:

Clinical study data were obtained from AstraZeneca safety databases used by the US Food and Drug Administration to support the approval of budesonide inhalation suspension and from postmarketing surveillance reports (January 1, 1990, through June 30, 2002).

Study Selection:

Completed parallel-group studies of patients with asthma 18 years and younger.


Safety data for budesonide inhalation suspension were pooled from 3 US, 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies (n = 1,018); data from their open-label extensions (n = 670) were pooled with data from a fourth US open-label study (n = 335). Data for 333 patients 18 years and younger enrolled in 5 non-US studies also were analyzed. No posterior subcapsular cataracts were reported in any study, and the frequencies of oropharyngeal events and infection with budesonide inhalation suspension were comparable with those of reference treatments. No increased risk of varicella or upper respiratory tract infection was apparent, and budesonide inhalation suspension did not cause significant adrenal suppression in studies assessing this variable. There were small differences in short-term growth velocity between children who received budesonide inhalation suspension and those who received reference treatment in 2 of 5 trials that evaluated this variable. No increased risk of adverse events was apparent from postmarketing reports.


Short- and long-term treatment with budesonide inhalation suspension, using a wide range of doses, is safe and well tolerated in children with asthma.


Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2004;93:83-90.

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