In many lung conditions, the airways within the lungs become inflamed
(swollen). This can lead to shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing.
Corticosteroids are medicines that decrease the body's inflammatory
response, which is often triggered by an infection or chronic disease (such as
asthma). A decrease in inflammation may decrease
symptoms, such as shortness of breath.
Corticosteroids given by mouth or given through a vein (intravenous)
have many potential side effects if used for long periods of time (usually
longer than 10 days). Side effects occur less often and are less severe when
inhaled forms of corticosteroids are used.
Potential side effects of long-term use of corticosteroids
Potential side effects of short-term use of corticosteroid
Corticosteroids always need to be used with caution. Your doctor will give you clear instructions about potential side effects and
what to do if side effects develop.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
July 7, 2010
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Robert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM - Pulmonology
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