Inhaled corticosteroids are medicines containing corticosteroids such as beclomethasone, budesonide, ciclesonide, flunisolide, fluticasone, or mometasone in a preparation designed to be inhaled through the mouth. Inhaled corticosteroids act directly in the lungs to inhibit the inflammatory process that causes asthma. Inhaled corticosteroids help to prevent asthma attacks and improve lung function. They may also be used in the treatment of certain other lung conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Because inhaled corticosteroids deliver the medicine directly into the lungs, much smaller doses of corticosteroid are needed to effectively control asthma symptoms compared to what would be needed if the same medication was taken orally. This also reduces the likelihood of side effects.
Subscribe to receive email notifications whenever new articles are published.
Drugs.com provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include Micromedex® (updated June 1st, 2018), Cerner Multum™ (updated June 5th, 2018), Wolters Kluwer™ (updated June 4th, 2018) and others. To view content sources and attributions, please refer to our editorial policy.