We’ve talked about corticosteroids before and we use it for respiratory reasons because we want to decrease inflammation in the persons lungs that is associated with asthma and allergic reactions and we also want to decrease the immune response. The inhaled route is by far the safest direction to go. If we use it systemically (orally or IV), the risk of systemic adrenal suppression takes place. The number of days we could use it safely is 7 days. An oral inhaler, however, can be used long term. There’s been some controversy in regards to children because corticosteroids decrease growth in children. Right now the guidelines say that it’s okay but some data is coming out that we’re not really sure if it really is okay. But if we look at risk vs benefit, if the person can’t breath at the moment, we’re not going to withhold them from relief.
- Inhaler is preferred route
- Avoid adrenal suppression