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Steroid Tablets for Asthma: When Required, Usage, Dosage

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Asthma is a common condition affecting millions of Americans. It causes shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and even breathing trouble during sleep.

Many types of asthma medications are available, including inhalers, pills, liquids, sprays, patches, and injections. But sometimes, these treatments aren’t enough, and patients may also require steroid tablets.

This guide will help you understand how steroids work, why they are used, what dosage levels are appropriate, what side effects are, and more.

Steroid Tablet

Steroid Tablets for Asthma When it is needed

When you have asthma, your airways are always inflamed. This makes them more sensitive to things that can trigger an asthma attack, such as cold air, exercise, or allergies.

For some people with asthma, airways are so sensitive that even everyday activities can trigger an asthma attack. These people may need to take a daily asthma medicine, such as a steroid tablet, to help prevent attacks.

Steroid Tablet – When it is needed, how to use

When asthma symptoms become severe, doctors prescribe steroid tablets to control asthma. Steroid tablets work wonderfully in controlling the inflammation of the airways.

Steroid tablets help to reduce the inflammation in your airways. This makes them less sensitive and less likely to have an asthma attack.

Steroid tablets are usually only needed for a short period of time, typically 2-4 weeks. This is because they can have side effects if used too long. Once your asthma is well controlled, you may be able to reduce the dose or stop taking the tablet altogether.

If you need to take steroid tablets for more than four weeks, your doctor will closely monitor you for side effects.

Steroid tablets are also used in emergency cases of asthma attacks. However, regular use of steroid tablets causes suppression of the activity of the adrenal gland.

Therefore, your body produces lesser natural steroids reducing your ability to cope with infections and physical stress.

Steroid Tablets – Dosage

If you need to take a steroid tablet for asthma, it is important to take it exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Steroid tablets can have side effects, so it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

One should know that steroid tablets can be taken in low doses provided one regularly takes preventer medicines to control asthma.

Steroid tablets are usually taken once a day, in the morning. Taking them simultaneously each day is important to get the most benefit and reduce the risk of side effects.

If you have an asthma attack, you may need to take a higher dose of steroid tablets. Your doctor will prescribe the right dose for you.

It is important to keep taking your steroid tablet even if you feel well. If you stop taking your tablet, your asthma may get worse.

If steroid tablets are to be discontinued, their dosage has to be gradually reduced and finally stopped under a doctor’s guidance.

If their use is stopped abruptly, your body will become susceptible to infections as the production of natural steroids is reduced in the presence of steroid tablets.

Moreover, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should not take steroid tablets. This is because they may affect the development of the baby.

If you are breastfeeding, you should not take steroid tablets. This is because they may pass into your breast milk and affect your baby.

Steroid tablets can interact with other medicines and some foods. Make sure your doctor knows about any other medicines you take, including herbal medicines and supplements.

If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start taking steroid tablets.

Side-effects of Steroid tablets

Steroid tablets are generally safe, but like all medicines, they can have side effects. If you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor.

The most common side effects of steroid tablets are weight gain, acne, and trouble sleeping. These side effects are usually mild and go away after you stop taking the tablets.

Tell your doctor immediately if you experience more serious side effects such as mood changes, vision problems, or muscle weakness.

Long-term use of steroid tablets should be avoided as it gives rise to grave side effects.

Some of these side effects are enlisted below:

  • The appearance of the moon’s face
  • Tendency to put on weight due to increased hunger and thirst
  • Disturbances in the sleep pattern cause a sense of hyperactivity.
  • Depression caused by regular mood swings
  • Heartburn and indigestion
  • Increased bruising and wounds
  • Brittle bones (osteoporosis)
  • Become predisposed to developing diabetes
  • A high incidence of intense chickenpox
  • An increased risk of developing cataracts.

How to reduce the side effects of Steroid tablets?

To reduce the side effects caused by long-term use of steroid tablets, one should take the following precautions:

  • Avoid smoking as it increases the thinning of bones caused by steroids and flares up symptoms of asthma
  • Ensure that the first thing you consume in the morning includes steroid tablets, as it reduces the side effects of the steroid tablets.
  • The steroid tablets can also be taken every alternative day instead of every day, although the dosage may be higher.
  • Take the steroid during or after meals.
  • Take regular doses of calcium tablets to fight bone-thinning
  • Exercise regularly and include a brisk walk of up to 30 minutes in your daily exercise schedule to fight the weight gain caused by steroids.
  • Avoid all fatty, sweet, and fried foods to avoid gaining weight.
  • Include a high-fiber diet containing wholegrain bread, cereals, vegetables, and fruits.

Facts about steroid tablets

One should know the following facts about steroid tablets used to control asthma.

  • Only a few asthma patients require long-term use of steroid tablets to control asthma.
  • If a patient exhibits good asthma care through modifications in diet and environment, then the dosage of steroid tablets can be reduced.
  • Steroid tablets and their dosage need to be regularly monitored by your doctor.
  • We can reduce the side effects of the steroid tablets by taking them as a single dose in the morning, as the cortisone level is the highest at this time of the day.
  • A Medic-Alert bracelet for steroids is only needed by people taking steroid tablets for months or years.
  • It is dangerous to stop steroid tablets suddenly if they have been taken continuously for months or years.


Steroid tablets for asthma are only required when the asthma is not responding to other treatments. The doctor will determine the usage and dosage of the steroid tablets.

It is important to follow the instructions given by the doctor and not stop taking the medication without consulting the doctor first.

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DISCLAIMER: This article is for educational purposes only, always check with your medical doctor before stopping any prescription medications or when implementing any dietary and lifestyle changes.

Healthlyious has strict sourcing guidelines, believes in trustworthy and reliable sources, and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, medical journal publications, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.

  • Steroids for asthma: https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/inhalers-medicines-treatments/steroids/
  • Use of dexamethasone and prednisone in acute asthma exacerbations in pediatric patients: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2718595/


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