Inhaled Medication

Long-acting corticosteroids improve lung function by suppressing inflammation in the respiratory passages and help reduce the need for oral medication.

Types of long-acting corticosteroids and their usual daily dosages pinclude the following:

  • Aerospan (flunisolide HFA)—2 inhalations 2x/day
  • Alvesco (ciclesonide)—1-2 inhalations 2x/day
  • Asmanex Twisthaler (mometasone)—1 inhalation 2x/day or 2 inhalations 1x/day
  • Flovent HFA (fluticasone)—1-4 inhalations 2x/day
  • Pulmicort Flexhaler (budesonide)—1-2 inhalations 2x/day
  • QVAR (beclomethasone)—1-4 inhalations 2x/day

Follow your health care provider's recommendations for taking these medications. Shake inhaler before each use. Follow any instructions for regular cleaning of inhaler. If using twice a day, use morning and evening. If using once a day, use in the evening. If using a bronchodilator, taking it first will improve effectiveness. Do not use Aerospan with external spacer.

Side Effects of Long-Acting Corticosteroid

Common side effects include headache, sore throat, hoarseness, sinusitis, oral candidiasis (thrush in the mouth). Aerospan may cause cough, sore throat. Alvesco and QVAR may cause hoarseness, sore throat, cough. Call your doctor if you have a severe asthma episode or develop worsening asthma symptoms, feel weak or lightheaded, develop white spots or sores in your mouth, are exposed to chickenpox or measles, have a long-lasting cold or infection or experience vision problems.

Publication Review By: Peter B. Terry, M.D., M.A.

Published: 24 Jun 2013

Last Modified: 24 Jun 2013