Clinical Uses

The corticosteroids are effective in most children and adults with asthma. They are beneficial for the treatment of both acute and chronic aspects of the disease. Inhaled corticosteroids, including triamcinolone ace-tonide (Azmacort), beclomethasone dipropionate (Beclo-vent, Vanceril), flunisolide (AeroBid), and fluticasone (Flovent), are indicated for maintenance treatment of asthma as prophylactic therapy. Inhaled corticosteroids are not effective for relief of acute episodes of severe bronchospasm. Systemic corticosteroids, including pred-nisone and prednisolone, are used for the short-term treatment of asthma exacerbations that do not respond to p2-adrenoceptor agonists and aerosol corticosteroids. Systemic corticosteroids, along with other treatments, are also used to control status asthmaticus. Because of the side effects produced by systemically administered corticosteroids, they should not be used for maintenance therapy unless all other treatment options have been exhausted.

A fixed combination of inhaled fluticasone and sal-meterol (Advair) is available for maintenance antiin-flammatory and bronchodilator treatment of asthma.

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