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The Asthma Section

Understanding Asthma Medications

Oral Corticosteroids

Oral corticosteroids are usually reserved for severe asthma symptoms and are usually only used short term. The goal of good asthma control is to quickly recognize that your symptoms are worsening and adjusting your controller medications according to your asthma action plan. This way, they should never progress to the point where oral steroids are required.

Oral corticosteroids can have serious side effects if used too often or for a long time. However, if asthma symptoms are very severe, the benefits of using them outweigh the risks.

Oral corticosteroids include:

Pediapred (prednisolone)
Deltasone, Apo-Prednisone, Novo-Prednisone (prednisone)

With long-term use, oral corticosteroids can cause side effects that include stomach irritation, water retention, increased appetite and weight gain, growth suppression in children and fractures.

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