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Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0

Steroids, Inhaled

What are other names for this medication?

Some brand names for inhaled steroids are Vanceril, Beclovent, Azmacort, Aerobid, and Flovent.

What does this drug do?

Inhaled steroids prevent acute asthma episodes by reducing the responsiveness of the airways to triggers.

Inhaled steroids are not bronchodilators and will not provide relief during an acute asthma episode.

How is this medication taken?

Inhaled steroids are taken with a metered-dose inhaler (MDI). To decrease side effects, a spacer or holding chamber is often used.

What is the usual dose?

The usual dose is two to three puffs, taken two to four times a day.

What side effects can this drug cause?

Thrush, a yeast infection of the mouth and throat, is the most common side effect. Sore throat and tongue, hoarse voice, and dry mouth have also been reported. Large doses over extended periods of time may cause other side effects in the bones, eyes, and muscles.

What special instructions should be followed?

Rinse the mouth after each treatment and use a spacer device to decrease the incidence of thrush. Inhaled steroids as well as steroids taken by mouth (pills or syrup) should not be stopped abruptly without your physician's approval.

Your prescribed dose of ____________________ is ______ puffs taken _______ times a day.

Written by the Asthma Task Force at The Children's Hospital, Denver.
Copyright 1999 Clinical Reference Systems