Corticosteroids (Inhaled)

Chronic inflammation is the major component of persistent asthma. Corticosteroids are remarkably effective in suppressing the inflammation of asthma, thereby, controlling the disease. The development of inhaled corticosteroids is one of the greatest advancements in the treatment of asthma. Often it is the only medication required on a daily basis.

Brand Names Generic Names

Aerobid and Aerobid M Flunisolide
Azmacort Triamcinolone acetonide
Beclovent Beclomethasone dipropionate
Vanceril D. S. Beclomethasone dipropionate
Flovent Fluticasone propionate

Drug Action

Corticosteroids decrease inflammation of the airways. The inhaled form acts directly on the airways and has little effect on the rest of the body when taken in the usual prescribed doses.

Side Effects

  • Minor fungal infections (thrush) in the mouth and throat can occur. This can usually be prevented by using a spacer device and rinsing the mouth after use.
  • Cough, hoarseness and throat irritation are other side effects seen occasionally. Using a spacer device can also minimize these side effects.

Indications for Use

  • As a preventative medicine when used routinely.
  • Can be used to decrease the amount of oral corticosteroids required for the treatment of asthma.

Additional Comments

  • These drugs do not have a bronchodilator effect and do give immediate relief of symptoms.
  • Inhaled corticosteroids also come in a nose spray for the treatment of allergies and sinusitis.
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