If you have a serious asthma attack (exacerbation), your doctor may prescribe a short course of oral c orticosteroids. When used orally for less than two weeks, the side effects of corticosteroids are less likely, but when used for many months, they can have a serious and permanent effect. After the severe symptoms of your asthma attack have been successfully treated and controlled, your doctor will work with you to minimize your need for prednisone in the future. Faithfully taking an inhaled corticosteroid every day is the most commonly successful method to do this.
Inhaled corticosteroids are the mainstay for daily controller medications in children and toddlers. The choice of which inhaled corticosteroid often comes down to which medication delivery device is preferred by caretakers. Young children can use metered-dose inhalers with a spacer and face mask, as long as caregivers are trained and feel comfortable with the proper technique. Budesonide is available via nebulizer, and this may be easier for infants and younger toddlers. Some children may also feel comfortable with a dry powder inhaler. If used properly, all medication delivery devices are effective, so choice is usually individualized based on caregiver and child preference. Combination inhalers are also used in children, and health-care professionals caring for children with asthma may choose these for children with moderate to severe asthma.