Slideshows Images Quizzes

Copyright © 2018 by RxList Inc. RxList does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.


Last reviewed on RxList: 9/16/2019
Ortikos Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 9/16/2019

Ortikos (budesonide) is a corticosteroid indicated for treatment of mild to moderate active Crohn's disease involving the ileum and/or the ascending colon, in patients 8 years and older; and maintenance of clinical remission of mild to moderate Crohn's disease involving the ileum and/or the ascending colon for up to 3 months in adults. Common side effects of Ortikos include:

The recommended adult dosage of Ortikos for mild to moderate active Crohn's disease is 9 mg once daily for up to 8 weeks; repeat 8-week treatment courses recurring episodes of active disease. The recommended dosage of Ortikos for pediatric patients 8 to 17 years who weigh more than 25 kg is 9 mg once daily for up to 8 weeks, followed by 6 mg once daily in the morning for 2 weeks. Ortikos may interact with CYP3A4 Inhibitors (e.g., ketoconazole, grapefruit juice, itraconazole, ritonavir, indinavir, saquinavir, erythromycin, and cyclosporine). Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before using Ortikos; it may harm a fetus. It is unknown if Ortikos passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Ortikos (budesonide) Extended-Release Capsules, for Oral Use Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment See Slideshow
Ortikos Professional Information


The following clinically significant adverse reactions are described elsewhere in labeling:

  • Hypercorticism and adrenal axis suppression [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Symptoms of steroid withdrawal in those patients transferred from other systemic corticosteroids [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Increased risk of infection [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Other corticosteroid effects [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The safety of ORTIKOS has been established from adequate and well-controlled studies of another oral budesonide product [see Clinical Studies]. Below is a display of the adverse reactions of budesonide in these adequate and well-controlled studies.


The data described below reflect exposure to budesonide in 520 patients with Crohn's disease, including 520 exposed to 9 mg per day (total daily dose) for 8 weeks and 145 exposed to 6 mg per day for one year in placebo controlled clinical trials. Of the 520 patients, 38% were males and the age range was 17 to 74 years.

Treatment Of Mild To Moderate Active Crohn's Disease

The safety of budesonide was evaluated in 651 adult patients in five clinical trials of 8 weeks duration in patients with active mild to moderate Crohn's disease. The most common adverse reactions, occurring in greater than or equal to 5% of the patients, are listed in Table 1.

Table 1: Common Adverse Reactions1 in 8-Week Treatment Clinical Trials

Adverse Reaction Budesonide 9 mg
n=520 Number (%)
n=107 Number (%)
Prednisolone2 40 mg
n=145 Number (%)
n=88 Number (%)
Headache 107(21) 19(18) 31(21) 11(13)
Respiratory Infection 55 (11) 7(7) 20(14) 5(6)
Nausea 57(11) 10(9) 18(12) 7(8)
Back Pain 36(7) 10(9) 17(12) 5(6)
Dyspepsia 31(6) 4(4) 17(12) 3(3)
Dizziness 38(7) 5(5) 18(12) 5(6)
Abdominal Pain 32(6) 18(17) 6(4) 10(11)
Flatulence 30(6) 6(6) 12(8) 5(6)
Vomiting 29(6) 6(6) 6(4) 6(7)
Fatigue 25(5) 8(7) 11(8) 0(0)
Pain 24(5) 8(7) 17(12) 2(2)
1 Occurring in greater than or equal to 5% of the patients in any treated group.
2 Prednisolone tapering scheme: either 40 mg in week 1 to 2, thereafter tapering with 5 mg per week; or 40 mg in week 1 to 2, 30 mg in week 3 to 4, thereafter tapering with 5 mg per week.
3 This drug is not approved for the treatment of Crohn's disease in the United States.

The incidence of signs and symptoms of hypercorticism reported by active questioning of patients in 4 of the 5 short-term clinical trials are displayed in Table 2.

Table 2: Summary and Incidence of Signs/Symptoms of Hypercorticism in 8-Week Treatment Clinical Trials

Signs/Symptom Budesonide 9 mg
n=427 Number (%)
n=107 Number (%)
Prednisolone 40 mg
n=145 Number (%)
Total 145 (34%) 29 (27%) 69 (48%)
Acne 63(15) 14(13) 33(23)2
Bruising Easily 63(15) 12(11) 13(9)
Moon Face 46(11) 4(4) 53(37)2
Swollen Ankles 32(7) 6(6) 13(9)
Hirsutism3 22(5) 2(2) 5(3)
Buffalo Hump 6(1) 2(2) 5(3)
Skin Striae 4(1) 2(2) 0(0)
1 Prednisolone tapering scheme: either 40 mg in week 1-2, thereafter tapering with 5 mg/week; or 40 mg in week 1 to 2, 30 mg in week 3 to 4, thereafter tapering with 5 mg/week.
2 Statistically significantly different from budesonide 9 mg
3 Including hair growth increased, local and hair growth increased, general

Maintenance Of Clinical Remission Of Mild To Moderate Crohn's Disease

The safety of budesonide was evaluated in 233 adult patients in four long-term clinical trials (52 weeks) of maintenance of clinical remission in patients with mild to moderate Crohn's disease. A total of 145 patients were treated with budesonide 6 mg once daily.

The adverse reaction profile of budesonide 6 mg once daily in maintenance of Crohn's disease was similar to that of short-term treatment with budesonide 9 mg once daily in active Crohn's disease. In the long-term clinical trials, the following adverse reactions occurred in greater than or equal to 5% and are not listed in Table 1: diarrhea (10%); sinusitis (8%); infection viral (6%); and arthralgia (5%).

Signs/symptoms of hypercorticism reported by active questioning of patients in the long-term maintenance clinical trials are displayed in Table 3.

Table 3: Summary and Incidence of Signs/Symptoms of Hypercorticism in Long-Term Clinical Trials

Signs/Symptom Budesonide 6 mg
n=145 Number (%)
n=143 Number (%)
Bruising Easily 15(10) 5(4)
Acne 14(10) 3(2)
Moon Face 6(4) 0
Hirsutism 5(3) 1(1)
Swollen Ankles 3(2) 3(2)
Buffalo Hump 1(1) 0
Skin Striae 0 0

The incidence of signs/symptoms of hypercorticism as described above in long-term maintenance clinical trials was similar to that seen in the short-term treatment clinical trials.

Less Common Adverse Reactions In Treatment And Maintenance Clinical Trials

Less common adverse reactions (less than 5%), occurring in adult patients treated with budesonide 9 mg (total daily dose) in short-term treatment clinical studies and/or budesonide 6 mg (total daily dose) in long-term maintenance clinical trials, with an incidence are listed below by system organ class:

Cardiac disorders: palpitation, tachycardia

Eye disorders: eye abnormality, vision abnormal

General disorders and administration site conditions: asthenia, chest pain, dependent edema, face edema, flu-like disorder, malaise, fever

Gastrointestinal disorders: anus disorder, enteritis, epigastric pain, gastrointestinal fistula, glossitis, hemorrhoids, intestinal obstruction, tongue edema, tooth disorder

Infections and infestations: Ear infection -not otherwise specified, bronchitis, abscess, rhinitis, urinary tract infection, thrush

Investigations: weight increased

Metabolism and nutrition disorders: appetite increased

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: arthritis, cramps, myalgia

Nervous system disorders: hyperkinesia, paresthesia, tremor, vertigo, somnolence, amnesia

Psychiatric disorders: agitation, confusion, insomnia, nervousness, sleep disorder

Renal and urinary disorders: dysuria, micturition frequency, nocturia

Reproductive system and breast disorders: intermenstrual bleeding, menstrual disorder

Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: dyspnea, pharynx disorder

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: alopecia, dermatitis, eczema, skin disorder, sweating increased, purpura

Vascular disorders: flushing, hypertension

Bone Mineral Density

A randomized, open, parallel-group multicenter safety clinical trial specifically compared the effect of budesonide (less than 9 mg per day) and prednisolone (less than 40 mg per day) on bone mineral density over 2 years when used at doses adjusted to disease severity. Bone mineral density decreased significantly less with budesonide than with prednisolone in steroid-naive patients, whereas no difference could be detected between treatment groups for steroid-dependent patients and previous steroid users. The incidence of symptoms associated with hypercorticism was significantly higher with prednisolone treatment.

Clinical Laboratory Test Findings

The following potentially clinically significant laboratory changes in clinical trials, irrespective of relationship to budesonide, were reported in greater than or equal to 1% of patients: hypokalemia, leukocytosis, anemia, hematuria, pyuria, erythrocyte sedimentation rate increased, alkaline phosphatase increased, atypical neutrophils, c-reactive protein increased and adrenal insufficiency.

Pediatric Patients --Treatment Of Mild To Moderate Active Crohn's Disease

Adverse reactions reported in pediatric patients 8 to 17 years of age, who weigh more than 25 kg, were similar to those reactions described above in adult patients.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been reported during post-approval use of another oral formulation of budesonide. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Immune System Disorders: Anaphylactic reactions

Nervous System Disorders: Benign intracranial hypertension

Psychiatric Disorders: Mood swings

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Ortikos (Budesonide Extended-release Capsules)


What is Crohn's disease? See Answer
Related Resources for Ortikos

© Ortikos Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Ortikos Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors