Alvesco Warnings and Precautions
To help prevent thrush (a yeast infection of the mouth or throat), it's important to rinse your mouth with water after each dose of Alvesco. Other warnings and precautions include being aware that Alvesco is used only for preventing asthma attacks, not treating them after they start. If you are allergic to this product or any of its ingredients, you should not use it.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?Prior to taking Alvesco® (ciclesonide inhaler), tell your healthcare provider if you have:
- Never had chickenpox or the measles (or never been vaccinated against them)
- Tuberculosis, herpes, or any other infections
- Glaucoma or cataracts
- Any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Warnings and Precautions With AlvescoPrecautions and warnings to be aware of prior to taking Alvesco include the following:
- If you are switching from an oral steroid to Alvesco (which is an inhaled steroid), your healthcare provider should slowly decrease your dose of the oral steroid. Stopping an oral steroid too quickly can be dangerous.
- Alvesco is not a fast-acting asthma medication and cannot replace fast-acting rescue inhalers. Do not use Alvesco to treat an asthma attack. Everyone taking it should also have a rescue asthma medication available at all times. Let your healthcare provider know if you need to use your rescue inhaler more frequently than usual, as this may be a sign of worsening asthma.
- This medicine can cause an immediate worsening of asthma symptoms. If this happens, use your rescue inhaler (such as albuterol) as needed and contact your healthcare provider for further instruction.
- Alvesco is a steroid and may suppress the immune system. Although this is more likely to occur with oral steroids, it is still possible with inhaled steroids. You may be at higher risk for infections as a result.
Certain infections (such as chickenpox or the measles) may be more dangerous if you are taking Alvesco. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you are exposed to chickenpox or the measles if you have not had these infections and have not been vaccinated against them.
- Like other steroids, Alvesco may slow the growth of children and teenagers. Usually, this slowing of growth is small, with children growing about a centimeter less per year. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you are concerned about slow growth in your child.
- Inhaled steroids may cause decreased bone mineral density. This means that over time, it is possible that a weakening of the bones could occur.
- Alvesco can cause thrush (a yeast infection of the mouth or throat). In order to help prevent this, rinse your mouth with water (without swallowing) after each dose.
- Taking steroids can decrease the body's ability to make its own natural steroids (this is known as "adrenal suppression"). Usually, inhaled steroids like Alvesco are less likely to cause such problems, compared to oral steroids. Still, it is possible, especially during times of physical stress, such as illness or recovery from a surgery.
- Inhaled steroids can cause glaucoma or cataracts (conditions affecting the eyes).
- Before starting Alvesco, tell your healthcare provider if you currently have any type of infection. Also, let your healthcare provider know if you have ever had tuberculosis or a herpes infection of the eye, as the medication may weaken the immune system, allowing these infections to worsen.
- Alvesco can interact with other medications (see Alvesco Drug Interactions).
- Alvesco is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using it when pregnant (see Alvesco and Pregnancy for more information).
- It is not known if Alvesco passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, talk with your healthcare provider about using Alvesco (see Alvesco and Breastfeeding for more information).