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. For a full list of warnings, check the information that came with the medicine you're using. Russo MD - Internal Medicine. Author: Healthwise Staff.
Top of the page. Inhaled corticosteroids for asthma. Information about this medicine What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? 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. What are the two types of asthma medicines? Asthma medicines are divided into two groups. Long-term controller medicines are used every day. They can result in fewer asthma symptoms and can help prevent asthma attacks.
Flovent HFA Generic name: fluticasone. Arnuity Ellipta Pro Generic name: fluticasone. Pulmicort Flexhaler Pro Generic name: budesonide. Pulmicort Turbuhaler Pro Generic name: budesonide. Pulmicort Respules Generic name: budesonide. Aerobid-M Generic name: flunisolide. Aerobid Pro Generic name: flunisolide. Pulmicort Nebuamp Generic name: budesonide.
Lori , MarshallProtocol. Notes and comments Legacy content. Old revisions. Recent Changes. Log In. There are many different types of inhaler, which can be confusing. This leaflet gives information on the medicines inside inhalers, and the types of inhaler device, and some general information about inhalers.
This leaflet is about inhalers for asthma. The medicine inside an inhaler goes straight into the airways when you breathe in. This means that you need a much smaller dose than if you were to take the medicine as a tablet or liquid by mouth. The airways and lungs are treated, but little of the medicine gets into the rest of the body. The proper medicine name is called the generic name. Different drug companies can use the generic medicine and produce different brands - the proprietary medicine names.
There are many different brands of inhalers. Inhalers can have generic names and be produced by different drug companies too. For some medicines there are different inhaler devices that deliver the same medicine. This means that there are many types of inhaler available on prescription, all of which are produced in different colours.
This can be confusing. Because there are lots of different-coloured inhalers available, it is helpful to remember their names, as well as the colour of the device. This might be important if you need to see a doctor who does not have your medical records - for example:.
It might be helpful to keep a list of the names of your medicines and inhalers in your wallet or purse. This information will prevent mistakes and confusion. In the treatment of asthma, the medicine inside inhalers can be grouped into relievers short-acting bronchodilators , preventers steroid inhalers and long-acting bronchodilators.
Book a consultation with a local pharmacist via Patient Access at a time that's convenient for you. You can take a reliever inhaler as required to ease symptoms when you are breathless, wheezy or tight-chested. The medicine in a reliever inhaler relaxes the muscle in the airways.
This opens the airways wider, and symptoms usually quickly ease. These medicines are called bronchodilators as they widen dilate the airways bronchi. The two main reliever medicines are salbutamol and terbutaline. These come in various brands made by different companies. There are different inhaler devices that deliver the same reliever medicine. These inhalers are often but not always blue in colour. Other inhalers containing different medicines can be blue too.
Always read the label. If you only have symptoms every now and then, the occasional use of a reliever inhaler may be all that you need. If you need a reliever three times a week or more to ease symptoms, a preventer inhaler is usually advised.
These are taken every day to prevent symptoms from developing. The type of medicine commonly used in preventer inhalers is a steroid. Steroids work by reducing the inflammation in the airways. When the inflammation has gone, the airways are much less likely to become narrow and cause symptoms such as wheezing.
Steroid inhalers are usually taken twice per day. If you have an exacerbation flare-up of your asthma symptoms, you may be advised to take the preventer inhaler more often. It takes days for the steroid in a preventer inhaler to build up its effect. This means it will not give any immediate relief of symptoms like a reliever does.
After a week or so of treatment with a preventer, the symptoms have often gone, or are much reduced. It can, however, take up to six weeks for maximum benefit. If your asthma symptoms are well controlled with a regular preventer you may then not need to use a reliever inhaler very often, if at all.
However, they do not usually work as well as steroids. Bone strength density may be reduced following long-term use of high doses of inhaled corticosteroids. Therefore people who use steroid inhalers for asthma need to make sure they have a good supply of calcium in their diet. Milk is a good source of calcium but dairy products may need to be avoided for some people with asthma. Other good dietary sources of calcium include:. See the separate leaflet called Preventing Steroid-induced Osteoporosis.
The medicines in these inhalers function in a similar way to relievers, but work for up to 12 hours after each dose has been taken. A long-acting bronchodilator may be advised in addition to a steroid inhaler if symptoms are not fully controlled by the steroid inhaler alone. Some brands of inhaler contain a steroid plus a long-acting bronchodilator for people who need both to control their symptoms. Examples of combination inhalers are:.
Different inhaler devices suit different people. Inhaler devices can be divided into four main groups:. A standard MDI is shown above. The MDI has been used for over 40 years and is used to deliver various types and brands of medicines. It contains a pressurised inactive gas that propels a dose of medicine in each 'puff'. Each dose is released by pressing the top of the inhaler. This type of inhaler is quick to use, small, and convenient to carry.
It needs good co-ordination to press the canister and breathe in fully at the same time. Sometimes these are known as evohalers depending upon the manufacturer. The standard MDI is the most widely used inhaler. However, many people do not use it to its best effect.
Common errors include:. However, CFCs damage the Earth's ozone layer and so are being phased out. The newer CFC-free inhalers work just as well, but they use a different propellant gas that does not damage the ozone layer. These are alternatives to the standard MDI. Some are still pressurised MDIs, but don't require you to press a canister on top.
The autohaler shown above is an example. Another example of a breath-activated MDI is the easi-breathe inhaler. Other breath-activated inhalers are also called dry powder inhalers. These inhalers do not contain the pressurised inactive gas to propel the medicine. You don't have to push the canister to release a dose. Instead, you trigger a dose by breathing in at the mouthpiece.
Accuhalers, clickhalers, easyhalers, novolizers, turbohalers and twisthalers are all breath-activated dry powder inhalers. You need to breathe in fairly hard to get the powder into your lungs. Some types are shown below. The individual devices all have some differences in how they are operated but, generally, they require less co-ordination than the standard MDI.
They tend to be slightly bigger than the standard MDI. Spacer devices are used with pressurised MDIs. There are various types - an example is shown above.