Asthma Treatments and Corticosteroids
There is a difference between corticosteroids and anabolic steroids.
Corticosteroids can be used to treat asthma symptoms. Anabolic steroids can be used to treat anemia and are sometimes abused by athletes to enhance performance.
Corticosteroids are used to help control asthma by treating inflammation in the airways. Corticosteroids can be inhaled, taken orally, or injected.
- Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are breathed in through the mouth, not swallowed. As a result, most of the medicine goes straight to the lungs, where it is needed most. Very little of the medicine is absorbed into the body.
- Inhaled corticosteroids treat the lining of the airways in your lungs by reducing inflammation. When the airways are less inflamed, the lungs are less sensitive to asthma triggers, such as pollen, dust, or smoke resulting in fewer asthma symptoms and asthma attacks. Inhaled corticosteroids help to control and reduce asthma symptoms.
Oral and Injected Corticosteroids
- Oral corticosteroids (like prednisone) and corticosteroid injections are taken in much higher doses than inhaled corticosteroids and go through your entire system (not just your lungs) and may have side effects, such as weight gain and worsening of diabetes. These kinds of corticosteroids are typically prescribed only for a short time and/or for those with severe asthma. They are used to help control severe asthma attacks and swelling in the airways.
Switching from an oral corticosteroid to an inhaled corticosteroid
One of the 2 medicines in SYMBICORT, budesonide, is an inhaled corticosteroid. If you are switching to SYMBICORT from oral corticosteroids, follow your doctor's instructions to avoid health risks when you stop using oral corticosteroids.
- Anabolic steroids are synthetic hormones that are sometimes abused by athletes in order to increase performance.
- There are times anabolic steroids have a medical use, such as in the treatment of certain types of anemia.
- Anabolic steroids are not used in the asthma treatment.
Next: Let's Talk About SYMBICORT