What are Steroid Inhalers for Asthma?

What are Steroid Inhalers for Asthma?
Published : May 01, 2024
Last Updated : May 26, 2024

Steroid inhalers are also called corticosteroids. It helps in reducing inflammation in the lungs. All inhalers don't contain steroids.

Inhalers are used to treat respiratory conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Anabolic steroids are different from inhaled steroids. Inhaled steroids are produced naturally by the body, whereas anabolic steroids are used to build muscles.

Steroid inhalers are the best long-term solution treatment for respiratory problems. These inhalers prevent asthma attacks and keep the lungs healthy.

This blog describes everything one needs to know about steroid inhalers. Please read this blog till the end of it to get complete details.

About steroid inhalers

Steroid inhalers are also known as corticosteroid inhalers, and they are used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

It is an anti-inflammatory powder or spray that one breathes in to get relief from respiratory symptoms. You can buy it only with a prescription.

Steroid inhalers types

There are three main types of steroid inhalers. They are:




Benefits of steroid inhalers

There are many benefits of using steroid inhalers. Some of the benefits are:

  • Improves lung functioning.
  • Prevent future asthma attacks.
  • Provides quick relief from asthma and COPD.
  • Less usage of beta-agonist bronchodilators.

How to use steroid inhalers?

Your doctor or nurse will guide you on how to use steroid inhalers. Use it as directed by your doctor in the same procedure.

Generally, 1-2 puffs are taken twice a day, that is, in the morning and evening. Your healthcare provider will say the dose will tell you the dose after assessing your health condition.

After complete usage, remember that you have to rinse your mouth with water. It is best if you brush your teeth.

Missed dose of steroid inhalers

Anytime you forget a dose, inhale it as soon you remember it. If you see it soon, the time for the next dose is to skip the missed dose. Avoid doubling the missed dose.

Overdose of steroid inhalers

Mistakenly, if you overdose on the puffs of steroid inhalers, visit a nearby hospital or doctor and consult. It can increase the potential risks of side effects.

Things to remember when using steroid inhalers

These are some of the best practices you can carry out when you are using steroid inhalers:

  • Always use steroid inhalers for a complete duration as prescribed, even if you notice relief.
  • After using it, always rinse your mouth with water.
  • If you experience side effects such as oral thrush, inform your healthcare provider.
  • If you are advised, use a spacer device with a metered dose.
  • Reduce the dose of steroids in small amounts, not at a go.
  • Don't stop the treatment with steroid inhalers unless asked.

How do steroid inhalers work?

Steroid inhalers are called preventer inhalers. This is so because it helps one to prevent respiratory symptoms.

Steroid inhalers reduce swelling and irritation in your lungs. Thus, the breathing problems are gradually cured.

Cost of Steroid inhalers

The actual price of steroid inhalers varies every year. The cost may vary between $200 to $400 in different states every year. The cost of an inhaler also depends on your insurance.

Side effects of steroid inhalers

Steroid inhalers cause very few side effects. If you use it properly, you may experience no side effects. Some people experience side effects like:

Sore throat


Croaky voice

Oral thrush

Mouth redness


How do you manage the side effects of steroid inhalers?

To avoid side effects, use steroid inhalers as advised to do. Take the help of a doctor or nurse to use it correctly.

Prefer brushing or rinsing your mouth with water after every use. Keep the inhaler with a spacer at one end of the mouth and a hole at the other end.

Inform your healthcare provider before using steroid inhalers

  • If you are a pregnant or breastfeeding woman or trying to get pregnant soon.
  • If you are a diabetic patient.
  • If you have taken or are taking steroid tablets.
  • If you are suffering from any lung infections like tuberculosis.
  • If you are exposed to chickenpox or shingles.

Using steroid inhalers with alcohol

There is no information available on drinking alcohol while using steroid inhalers. Drinking is not prohibited.

However, it's best to inform your doctor if you have a habit of regular drinking. Also, smoking with steroid inhalers is not good as it reduces the effectiveness.

Interactions of steroid inhalers

Steroid inhalers may interact with some other medicines you take to treat different diseases. If you are using any such medications, inform your healthcare provider.

HIV inhibitors like cobicistat and ritonavir.

Bronchodilators or corticosteroids are used to treat respiratory conditions.

Medicines like Ketoconazole are used to treat fungal infections.


Doctors mainly prescribe steroid inhalers to treat asthma and a few other respiratory conditions.

We can say that steroid inhalers are best to prevent future asthma attacks. The steroids are also safe to use.

The side effects caused by inhalers are barely minimal and are easily tolerated. For the long term, steroid inhalers are the best option.


What is the dose of steroid inhalers for asthma patients?

The dose of steroid inhalers for every patient varies. Your healthcare provider will adjust the proper dose after checking the condition of your symptoms.

A high dose of steroid inhalers is advised at the beginning for most of the patients. Gradually, it can be reduced after checking if a small dose works for treating symptoms.

How to minimize the side effects of steroid inhalers in asthma patients?

To minimize the side effects, ensure that you use it correctly. You must know the correct way to use steroid inhalers.

Also, avoid overdosing on steroid inhalers. Overdosing can cause severe side effects. Use the exact number of puffs as your healthcare provider said.

Where should I store steroid inhalers?

Store steroid inhalers in a cool place and dry place. Don't try to store steroid inhalers under sunlight at any time.

Do not freeze it or refrigerate steroid inhalers. Make sure that you store it away from children and animals.