what are inhaled corticosteroids

These medicines are used in a metered-dose or dry powder inhaler. Inhalers may be used differently, depending on the medicine used. Always read the directions to be sure you or your child is using the inhaler correctly.

All forms of corticosteroids reduce inflammation camera.gif in the airways that carry air to the lungs (bronchial tubes) and reduce the mucus made by the bronchial tubes. This makes it easier for you to breathe.

Inhaled corticosteroids treat inflammation in the airway, and only very small amounts of the medicine are absorbed into the body. So these medicines don’t tend to cause the serious side effects, such as weakening of the bones, that corticosteroids can cause when they are taken in liquid, pill, or injection form (systemic corticosteroids).

Inhaled corticosteroids are the preferred treatment for long-term control of mild persistent, moderate persistent, or severe persistent asthma symptoms in children, teens, and adults. They help control narrowing and inflammation in the bronchial tubes. In general, they are part of daily asthma treatment and are used every day.

Different types of medicines are often used together in the treatment of asthma. For example, inhaled corticosteroids are often used together with long-acting beta2-agonists for persistent asthma. Medicine treatment for asthma depends on a person’s age, his or her type of asthma, and how well the treatment is controlling asthma symptoms.

Children up to age 4 are usually treated a little differently from those 5 to 11 years old.
The least amount of medicine that controls the asthma symptoms is used.
The amount of medicine and number of medicines are increased in steps. So if asthma is not controlled at a low dose of one controller medicine, the dose may be increased. Or another medicine may be added.
If the asthma has been under control for several months at a certain dose of medicine, the dose may be reduced. This can help find the least amount of medicine that will control the asthma.
Quick-relief medicine is used to treat asthma attacks. But if you or your child needs to use quick-relief medicine a lot, the amount and number of controller medicines may be changed.