Medications (Adult asthma)

4) Preventers – steroid inhalers

Preventers are used to reduce the inflammation in the lining of the lungs. This reduces the tightening of the airways and means breathing becomes easier.
They are used regularly as a preventative medicine.  These inhalers do not give instant relief of symptoms and when you start to use them, they need time to become effective and should be taken regularly as prescribed by your doctor or respiratory specialist nurse.

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Drug name Device How its taken Side effects
Beclometasone (Clenil Modulite®, Qvar®, Asmabec®) Metred dose inhaler, Clickhaler, Qvar, Easyhaler Preventer – taken regularly every morning and evening. You can get an increased number of infections including oral thrush. Some practical tips on avoiding oral thrush are:
  • Wash your mouth out and/or brush your teeth after using your inhaler
  • Make sure you are using your inhaler correctly
  • You may need to use a spacer device

High doses can cause long term effects – It is important you attend regular asthma reviews to assess your treatment and reduce the risk of long term side-effects.

Information on other side-effects can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet in the pack or on the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) website.

Most side effects are short lasting and common. They are not a reason to stop taking the inhaler. Most people tolerate these mild side effects. If you are in any doubt contact your GP or asthma team.Budesonide (Pulmicort®, Budelin Novolizer®)Easyhaler, TurbohalerFluticasone (Flixotide®)Metred dose inhaler, AccuhalerMometasone (Asmanex®)TwisthalerCiclesonide (Alvesco®)Qvar

Please note:

These are the most commonly used inhalers at the time of publication of this website. If you do not see your inhaler you can speak to your GP or pharmacist or check the patient information leaflet for your inhaler and medication.