A drug may be classified by the chemical type of the active ingredient or by the way it is used to treat a particular condition. Each drug can be classified into one or more drug classes.
Inhaled corticosteroids act locally in the lungs to inhibit the inflammatory process, which causes asthma. They are potent anti-inflammatory agents and effectively reduce asthma symptoms. Corticosteroids prevent asthma attacks and improve lung function. Inhaled corticosteroids may also be used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that has an asthmatic component.
Inhaled corticosteroids deliver the medicine directly into the lungs so a smaller dose of corticosteroid is sufficient to control the symptoms. This minimizes the amount of corticosteroid that is absorbed systemically, so reduces the occurrence of side effects which one would normally experience while on long-term oral corticosteroid use.
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