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Inhaled Corticosteroids for Asthma Control

Inhaled corticosteroids are often advised for long-term asthma control. These medicines are safe for long-term use. They are not the steroids that you hear about athletes abusing. The normal prescribed doses of corticosteroids don’t often cause side effects. That’s because they’re inhaled right into your lungs, where they’re needed. So they have little effect on the rest of your body. The chance of side effects can be even lower if you:

  • Ask your healthcare provider about using a spacer or holding chamber with your inhaler. These devices help the medicine get to your lungs more easily.

  • Rinse your mouth and spit out the water after using the inhaler. This simple step will help prevent some side effects.

  • Work with your provider to find the lowest dose to control your asthma.

  • Show your provider how you use your inhaler. This is to make sure you are using it correctly. 

7 steps for using your inhaler

  1. Remove the cap and shake well.

  2. If you use a spacer or holding chamber, attach it to the inhaler.

  3. Take a deep breath in. Then breathe out.

  4. Place the inhaler in the correct position. This step isn’t the same for everyone. Make sure you know how your healthcare provider wants you to hold your inhaler.

  5. Breathe in and press on the inhaler at the same time.

  6. Hold your breath for 10 seconds. This means slowly count to 10.

  7. Slowly let your breath out.

Medicines play a key role in controlling your asthma. It’s important to use them the right way. Use your asthma action plan as your guide. Bring the plan with you to every appointment. Then you can review and update it with your healthcare provider. And don’t stop taking your asthma medicine if you feel better. If you have any questions, ask your provider or pharmacist.

Online Medical Reviewer: Alan J Blaivas DO
Online Medical Reviewer: Amy Finke RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN CCRC
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2018
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