A major breakthrough in asthma therapy was the introduction in the 1970s of aerosol corticosteroids. These agents (Table 39.3) maintain much of the impressive therapeutic efficacy of parenteral and oral cortico-steroids, but by virtue of their local administration and markedly reduced systemic absorption, they are associated with a greatly reduced incidence and severity of side effects. The success of inhaled steroids has led to a substantial reduction in the use of systemic cortico-steroids. Inhaled corticosteroids, along with ยก2-adreno-ceptor agonists, are front-line therapy of chronic asthma.

TABLE 39.3 Corticosteroids Used in Asthma



Trade Name


Oral corticosteroids




Coping with Asthma

Coping with Asthma

If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.

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