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What is the purpose of inhaled corticosteroids?

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Quick Answer

Inhaled corticosteroids reduce inflammation and mucus in the airways to make breathing easier, explains WebMD. Doctors prescribe corticosteroids to people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.

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Inhaled corticosteroids are the preferred treatment for mild, moderate and severe asthma, according to WebMD. When taken consistently, corticosteroids may improve lung function and reduce asthma attacks.

The body only absorbs small amounts of inhaled corticosteroids, so side effects are fewer than with other delivery methods. Side effects of inhaled corticosteroids include sore mouth or throat and voice changes. With high doses, side effects may include fungal infections of the mouth, throat or esophagus and loss of bone density, states WebMD.

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