The main salvation for many asthmatics is steroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs. Steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs help not only to control the disease, but also to prevent asthma attacks.
Steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs reduce the swelling of the airways and the formation of mucus. Thanks to them, the airways become less sensitive and less responsive to asthma pathogens, and this accordingly improves the control of the disease.
What are the main types of steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs that help fight the symptoms of the disease?
The best among anti-inflammatory drugs are steroid or corticosteroid (inhalation or oral), leukotriene modifiers, mast cell stabilizers, immunoglobulin blockers E.
What are inhaled steroids?
Inhaled steroids are the most effective medications that reduce inflammation and the formation of mucus in the respiratory tract. The use of inhaled steroids leads to:
- Enhance disease control
- Reduce exacerbation of symptoms and asthma attacks
- Reduce the need for hospitalization
Note that while steroids prevent the worsening of symptoms, they do not alleviate the symptoms already present. Doses of inhaled steroids in inhalers may be different.
Inhaled steroids should be taken daily in order to achieve maximum results. A slight improvement will be noticeable after one to three weeks, the maximum effect will be visible after three months with daily intake.
Inhaled steroids (inhalers) include:
- Advair (combination of steroid and long-acting bronchodilator)
- Symbicort (combination of steroid and long-acting bronchodilator)
Inhaled steroids can be in the following form: metered-dose inhaler, dry inhaler and aerosol.
Are there any side effects?
Inhaled steroids are accompanied by a small number of side effects, especially at low doses. With large doses, mycosis of the oral cavity (yeast infection in the mouth) and hoarseness can develop, but this happens very rarely. To avoid these side effects, rinse your mouth after each use of an inhaler or separator with a metered-dose inhaler. Mycosis is easy to treat with antifungal rinse.
Inhaled steroids (inhalers) are safe for children and adults. Side effects are few. Your doctor will usually prescribe the lowest dose that will effectively control your illness or your child’s illness.
On the other hand, many parents are skeptical of steroids. Inhaled steroids are not the anabolic steroids that athletes take to build muscle. It is an anti-inflammatory drug, the cornerstone in the treatment of asthma. There are also many other positives in anti-inflammatory inhalers.
What are the benefits of using inhaled steroids?
The benefits of inhaled steroids far exceed their negative sides and include:
- Reducing the frequency of asthma attacks
- Decreased use of beta-agonist-bronchodilators (inhalers that relieve asthma symptoms)
- Improving pulmonary function
- Reduced emergency call and hospitalization
How does prednisone and systemic steroids work?
The use of systemic steroids (steroids that not only get to the lungs, but also to the blood), such as prednisone, helps treat serious asthma exacerbations. Prednisone and other steroid drugs are used with other drugs to control sudden and severe asthma attacks or prolonged difficult to control asthma.
Systemic steroids take effect three hours after administration and reach their maximum effect after 6-12 hours. Sometimes prednisone and other steroids are taken in large doses for several days (called a steroid surge). They can also be taken in small doses daily or every other day for the treatment of chronic asthma.