Skip to content

Understanding Your Asthma Part 3: Steroid Medication

  • by

Asthma is a common chronic disease that affects breathing. Asthmatic patients can experience difficulty breathing sometimes due to exposure to certain triggers that cause their airways to narrow. Although there is no known cure for asthma, there are many different types of medication for controlling it. This video series will introduce you to what asthma is and the treatment methods available.

This video is part of a series of short videos on asthma and how it is treated they are listed here in a logical order that you might choose to watch them in if you want click on an icon to leave this video and watch another one earlier in the sequence you can easily come back to this one later sometimes your doctor will give you a preventer puffer that contains

Only a steroid it is quite important that you should understand this because that puffer will work very differently than your reliever puffer when you use your steroid puffer the steroid drug is sent down into your airways when it gets into the airway it does not immediately relax your smooth muscle and open up the airway like your reliever puffer does that is

Why this is not a puffer that you should use to give you immediate relief when you’re feeling short of breath what the storied puffer does do is gradually clear some of the inflammatory cells from the lining of your airways if you are just starting your treatment with your steroid puffer it might take up to two weeks for it to work as well as it can and clear the

Inflammation when the inflammation has cleared then there should be less chemicals around to make your smooth muscles contract and your airways should be wide open more of the time what most people notice is that when they have taken their steroid puffer for a few weeks they don’t have to use as much of their reliever puffer something that happens very often with

Steroid poppers is that they work so well that people think their asthma has gone better when that happens a lot of sensible people stop taking their puffers the trouble with that is that the asthma is still there and when you stop taking the puffer the inflammation comes back the airway starts to get narrow again and then you need to use more of your reliever puffer

So one of the tricks to managing your asthma is to remember to keep taking your steroid puffer even when you feel like you don’t need to steroid puffers have been around for treating asthma for nearly 50 years but there are many countries where it took several decades before doctors were comfortable prescribing them and patients were comfortable taking them the

Reason for this is probably because of some of the misconceptions about what steroid puffers might do to you we will list some of the things that people tend to worry about with their steroid puffers steroid buffers will not make your muscles bigger like a bodybuilder the steroids that do that are completely different drugs called anabolic steroids the worry about

Weight gain effects on growing and weakening of bones are real concerns for patients who take the anti-inflammatory drug prednisone but patients who take steroid puffers really don’t need to worry about these effects there are many drugs that don’t work as well if you take them too often or for a long period of time like your reliever puffer steroid buffers are not

Like this they will keep working just as well no matter how long you take them for there are some side effects that a few patients may notice when they take steroid puffers sometimes you might notice a slight deepening of your voice this is not harmful and you might even enjoy it when you use a steroid buffer it is easier to get a yeast like infection at the back

Of their throat or on your tongue this can be prevented by rinsing your mouth with water when you use your puffer even if it occurs it is harmless and can be treated with an antifungal pill from your doctor so the things that you need to remember about your steroid puffer are that it is medicine to clear inflammation and prevent airway narrowing because this may

Take days to work as well as it can it is not a reliever puffer and it will not help you at all if you take it for relief when you’re short of breath the most important thing for you to remember about your steroid puffer is to keep taking it the way your doctor has told you to there are very minor side effects and if you stop taking it your asthma symptoms will

Come back hopefully this video was helpful if you would like to watch another in the series click on that icon here if not thank you for watching

Transcribed from video
Understanding Your Asthma Part 3: Steroid Medication By Demystifying Medicine McMaster