Asthma Controller Medicine Inhaled Corticosteroids
The name of your controller medicine is _______________________________.
Inhaled corticosteroids are used to control asthma symptoms. They need to be taken each day.
They help to
- Make airways less “twitchy”.
- Decrease airway swelling.
- Decrease mucous.
- Decrease how often you have asthma symptoms.
Types of inhaled corticosteroids
- Flovent HFA® (fluticasone): 3 strengths are 44mcg, 110mcg, & 220mcg
- Flovent Diskus® (fluticasone): 3 strengths are 50mcg, 100mcg, 250mcg
- Pulmicort Flexhaler® (budesonide): 2 strengths are 80mcg & 160mcg
- Pulmicort Respules® for nebulizer: 3 strengths are 0.25mg, 0.5mg, & 1mg
- Asmanex Twisthaler® (mometasone): 220mcg
- QVAR® (beclomethasone): 2 strengths are 40mcg & 80mcg
- Alvesco® (ciclesonide): 2 strengths are 80mcg & 160mcg
Side effects that may occur (at low strengths) include
- Hoarse voice.
- Yeast infection in the mouth (“thrush”).
To lessen side effects
- Always rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth after using. Do not swallow the water.
- If using HFA inhaler:
o Use a spacer device.
o Wash your face after using a mask with the spacer.
Other side effects may occur. People with severe asthma who have taken high doses of inhaled corticosteroids for a long time are at greatest risk. Your doctor or nurse will review these side effects with you.
Inhaled corticosteroids may be “stepped up” or increased with the start of a cold or during an asthma flare-up or attack. This is part of the asthma action plan (“yellow zone”). This increased dose should be used for about 5-7 days or for 2 days after asthma symptoms are better. Then return to the lower dose (green zone).
For Metered Dose Inhalers (Flovent HFA® and QVAR HFA® or Alvesco®)
- Shake for 5 seconds before each use.
- Clean the mouthpiece once a week with a dry cotton swab.
Please check with your pharmacist or health care provider about priming the inhaler when first opening or if you have not used the inhaler in one week.
The Spanish version of this Health Fact for You is 6729.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 08/20/2012
Copyright © 04/11/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6657
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