Inhaled corticosteroids are the preferred medicines for long-term asthma treatment. They’re the most effective option for long-term relief of the inflammation and swelling that makes your airways sensitive to certain inhaled substances.Minimising inflammation helps avoid the chain of reaction that causes asthma attacks . Most people who take these drugs daily find they greatly reduce the severity of symptoms and how often they arise.
Inhaled corticosteroids generally are safe when taken as prescribed. These medicines are different from the illegal anabolic steroids taken by some athletes. Inhaled corticosteroids aren’t habit-forming, even if you take them every day for many years.
Like many other medicines, however, inhaled corticosteroids can have side effects. Most doctors agree that the benefits of taking inhaled corticosteroids and preventing asthma attacks far outweigh the risk of side effects.
One popular side effect from inhaled corticosteroids is a mouth infection called thrush. You may be able to use a spacer or holding chamber on your inhaler to avoid thrush. These devices attach to your inhaler. They help prevent the medicine from landing in your mouth or on the back of your throat.
Work with your health care team if you have any questions about how to use a spacer or holding chamber. Rinsing your mouth out with water after taking inhaled corticosteroids also can lower your risk for thrush.