These medicines are commonly used to treat asthma. They work well and are considered very safe. They are the preferred medicines for controlling asthma over the long term. There are also other types of controller medicines. Here are some examples of inhaled corticosteroids.
For each item in the list, the generic name is first, followed by any brand names. Inhaled corticosteroids reduce inflammation and mucus in the airways that carry air to the lungs. This makes it easier for you to breathe. You may get a sore mouth or throat or your voice may get hoarse when you use inhaled corticosteroids. You may also get a fungal infection in the mouth thrush. All medicines can cause side effects.
Many people don't have side effects. And minor side effects sometimes go away after a while. If you're having problems with side effects, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change to a different medicine.
Always be sure you get specific information on the medicine you're taking. For a full list of side effects, check the information that came with the medicine you're using. If you have questions, talk to your pharmacist or doctor. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the medicines you take. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. That information will help prevent serious problems.
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Why are inhaled corticosteroids for asthma used? Inhaled corticosteroids are used to help: You breathe better. Prevent and improve your asthma symptoms. Reduce asthma attacks. Many people are accustomed to taking short courses a few days or weeks of steroid tablets for attacks of asthma. However some people have asthma that causes problems all the time, despite looking after themselves well and using their inhalers properly.
These people may need to use steroid tablets continuously every day or on alternate days to control their asthma. A respiratory specialist should first be seen to check that all other possible treatments have been explored, before someone engages on long term steroid treatment. When steroid tablets are taken in short bursts under about three weeks , there are usually no problems. There can be increased appetite, mood change a high mood more often than a depressed one , and occasionally fluid retention and indigestion.
Unwanted side effects happen the longer you take the steroid and the higher the dose used. The main ones are:. Doses of Prednisone below 7mg a day are unlikely to give problems other than possible skin thinning. The higher the dose the more likely side effects are, so the doctor will be weighing up the risks of poor asthma control against the risk of steroid side effects and will keep the dose as low as possible. The timing and frequency of taking the tablets can also influence side effects.
Fewer side effects occur if:. Long-term steroid tablet treatment can weaken bones. So you will need to take extra doses of the steroid tablet instead. This can happen during illnesses. See your doctor straight away if you become ill. If you are vomiting or unable to swallow tablets, contact your doctor urgently.
You must not be without steroid medicine, particularly if you are unwell. For the same reason, it can be quite dangerous to stop long-term treatment suddenly — the body can find itself seriously short of steroid. Anyone taking regular steroid tablets should wear a Medic-Alert bracelet.
Then, if an accident occurs, and extra steroid is needed, the doctors will know. When long-term treatment is to be stopped, this must be done very gradually. The dose must be slowly reduced, often over several months. This allows the body time to start making its own cortisone again, Slow reduction will also stop unpleasant side effects, such as severe muscle aches, arthritis and depression.
Prednisone is used in severe episodes of asthma.