How Do I Use Cortisone for Asthma?

A. Reed

Asthma, an inflammatory condition of the lung passageways, is treated with drugs referred to as cortisone. If your doctor has given you an asthma diagnosis, it is likely that you have been prescribed these medications that come in a variety of forms and can be taken by mouth or inhaled. To use cortisone for asthma, it is important to know how to use your bronchial inhaler correctly and to take your medications as directed by your physician, particularly when you are experiencing acute distress. Keeping your medications within reach at all times ensures that you will be able to take fast-acting drugs as soon as inflammatory symptoms occur.

Cortisone for asthma may be taken to relieve shortness of breath and wheezing.
Cortisone for asthma may be taken to relieve shortness of breath and wheezing.

Cortisone is typically thought of in the form of an injection given to relieve intense pain associated with a musculoskeletal injury, but this method is not practical for the treatment of asthma. Also referred to as corticosteroids, cortisone for asthma is taken for the purpose of quickly alleviating acute symptoms such as shortness of breath and wheezing, or as a safeguard to provide around-the-clock protection against breathing attacks. Your doctor will usually order a couple of medications to cover you for fast relief as well as to maintain continued openness of air passages. It is important to adhere to the instructions that your physician provides regarding taking cortisone for asthma.

Gargling after use of an inhaler may prevent mouth dryness.
Gargling after use of an inhaler may prevent mouth dryness.

For best effectiveness, it is essential that, if you use an inhaler, you should do so in a manner that ensures that your lungs will receive the proper amount of medication necessary to help you. The most efficient means to disperse the drug is by utilizing a spacer, a clear plastic tube that is joined to the mouthpiece of an inhaler. After shaking the inhaler, connect the device and push down on the top of the inhaler to release the medication while inhaling deeply and gradually. Hold your breath for about ten seconds and then exhale slowly.

An illustration of the pathology of asthma.
An illustration of the pathology of asthma.

Knowing your triggers and the early signs of an attack can help you to know when to take cortisone for asthma. Such manifestations occur beforehand, as you may experience fatigue, anxiousness, or an incessant cough. Any delay in taking your medications can be dangerous as asthma symptoms are sudden and progress quickly, which is the reason you should always have fast-acting medications with you. An airway that prevents oxygen exchange is life-threatening and can lead to death.

These drugs do not come without side effects and you should be aware that some can cause serious problems without medical attention. Corticosteroids can cause your blood pressure or blood glucose level to rise, as well as edema and immunosuppression. Some also experience frequent irritations inside of the mouth. Rinsing and gargling after each use of your inhaler can prevent mouth dryness and throat soreness, or more serious complications such as thrush.

Cortisone for asthma is most frequently taken using an inhaler.
Cortisone for asthma is most frequently taken using an inhaler.

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