If you have a serious asthma attack (exacerbation), your doctor may prescribe a short course of oral c orticosteroids. When used orally for less than two weeks, the side effects of corticosteroids are less likely, but when used for many months, they can have a serious and permanent effect. After the severe symptoms of your asthma attack have been successfully treated and controlled, your doctor will work with you to minimize your need for prednisone in the future. Faithfully taking an inhaled corticosteroid every day is the most commonly successful method to do this.
Inhaled medicines, or medicines that you breathe directly into the lungs, are an important part of treatment for chronic lung disease. A variety of medicines are available in an inhaled form. When inhaled, the medicine quickly reaches the airways and less is absorbed into the bloodstream. There are a number of devices that deliver medicine directly to the airways. Metered-dose inhalers (MDIs), dry powder inhalers, nebulizers and soft mist inhalers are currently available with different medicines. A combination of inhaled medications can be used for a number of chronic lung diseases, including asthma and COPD.