Asthma medication side effects, risks and dangers are sometimes a concern for people who have asthma, or for parents of children with asthma. It can even prevent people from using asthma medicine, which then interferes with asthma control.
Most asthma medicines are quite safe. Also the risk to you or your chlilds health from not taking your asthma medication as prescribed are probably greater than any possible side effects of asthma medicine.
Inhaled steroids like fluticasone are the most effective long-term treatment for people who have persistent asthma.
Fluticasone is not an anabolic steroid - the kind of drugs that athletes sometimes use to enhance performance.Anabolic steroids are completely different from the kind of steroids used to treat asthma. The inhaled steroids used for asthma are similar to natural substances found in the human body, and they have few side effects. In fact, the benefits of inhaled steroids far outweigh any risks, especially at low to medium doses.
Minor side effects sometimes can occur, however, including the following:
•Thrush, which is a fungal infection in the mouth and throat, is one of the most common side effects. Using a spacer with the inhaler can help avoid this problem.
•Dysphonia is a type of vocal stress that sometimes occurs when the inhaled steroid dosage keeps increasing. Again, using a spacer can help get rid of this, as can reducing the dosage temporarily.
•Reflex cough and bronchospasm are two other effects you might have if you inhale too quickly through your inhaler. Using the spacer helps with this one too, as will slowing down and breathing in slowly and steadily when using the inhaler.
One potentially more risky side effect of inhaled steroid use in children is the possibility of a growth delay. Some, but not all, studies suggest that there may be at least a short-term delay in growth when children are treated with inhaled steroids.
However, more and longer studies are needed to fully explore this potential effect. It's important to note that growth in children can vary greatly anyway.
In the end, what we know is that the considerable benefits of inhaled steroids far outweigh the risks.
- Fluticasone Information for Consumers
- Fluticasone Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Fluticasone (detailed)
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