Corticosteroids, often referred to simply as steroids, are medications that mimic certain hormones produced in the brain that suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation in the body. Oral steroids work by providing an additional source of those hormones so they may work more effectively. In cases of asthma, oral steroids may be prescribed on a short-term basis or as a long-term medication regimen to reduce swelling or mucus production in the airways. Oral steroids can also increase the effectiveness of other asthma medications.
Prednisone (such as Rayos), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisolone (including Orapred and Pediapred) are examples of oral steroids that may be used to treat asthma.
How do I take it?
Oral steroids are available as tablets, capsules, and syrups. They should be taken exactly as prescribed by a physician.
Common side effects of oral steroids include increased appetite, suppression of the immune system, fluid retention, mood swings, high blood sugar levels, fat deposits in the face and abdomen, and weight gain.
Rarely, oral steroids can cause serious side effects, including decreased production of the hormones they mimic, severe allergic reactions, glaucoma, and decreased bone density.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Prednisone and Other Corticosteroids — Mayo Clinic
FAQs About Oral Steroids for Asthma — National Jewish Health