There are many effective medicines to treat asthma. Most people with asthma need two kinds: quick-relief medicines and long-term control medicines. Immunotherapy ( allergy shots ) can also be helpful.
Patients may be reluctant to take medication because of cost or the potential side effects. If you have such concerns, talk with your allergist. Your allergist will work with you to find the right medicine, or combination of medicines, to manage your asthma and will adjust the dosage based on your symptoms and control. The goal is to have you feel your best with the least amount of medicine.
"Rick’s growth and bone development have been affected by his high steroid use. He was evaluated completely in the Pediatric Endocrinology clinic at the children’s hospital. Their findings indicate Rick is constitutionally delayed in growth and his severe asthma and requirements for high-dose steroids over the past several years have contributed to this delay. Based on their information, Rick has an estimated adult height of 5 feet 6 inches. Rick also has steroid induced osteoporosis that needs to be dealt with. "
Inhaled corticosteroids are the most effective medicine to treat persistent asthma. Inhaled corticosteroids are asthma controller medicines. Asthma symptoms happen less often when an inhaled corticosteroid is used every day. When used every day, these medicines make the breathing tubes less sensitive by blocking the inflammation that leads to asthma symptoms.
Using a controller medicine reduces the need for rescue medicines and lowers the chance of needing to go to the emergency room for an asthma attack.
Because the main problem in asthma is long-term inflammation in the lungs, corticosteroids are often used to treat asthma. Corticosteroids help to reduce and prevent the swelling and excess mucus in the airway caused by inflammation.
For most people with asthma, corticosteroids are the single most effective medicine because they break the inflammation cycle and reduce the likelihood of future asthma flare-ups.
Inhaled corticosteroids are not like anabolic steroids. Although they have a similar name, they are very different from the anabolic steroids that are abused by some athletes. Also, it is important to know that concerns about using oral corticosteroids do not apply because inhaled corticosteroids are not absorbed into the body to any large extent .
A small number of individuals experience some local side effects, such as a yeast infection (white spots) of the mouth, tongue or throat and occasional hoarseness. Side effects can be avoided by rinsing the mouth after each treatment and using a spacer with a metered dose inhaler .