What Are Flunisolide Inhalers Used For?
Many people may wonder, "What are flunisolide inhalers used for?" Flunisolide inhalers are used for preventing asthma attacks in adults and children over the age of six. Healthcare providers may also recommend a flunisolide inhaler for "off-label" uses, such as the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The flunisolide inhaler (Aerobid®) is a prescription medication used to prevent asthma attacks. It is part of a class of asthma medications known as inhaled corticosteroids, or steroids for short.
Flunisolide inhalers will not be made, dispensed, or sold in the United States after June 30, 2011. Flunisolide inhalers contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), chemicals that deplete the ozone layer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set this final date for the medication in order to comply with the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer. People using the flunisolide inhaler should ask their healthcare providers about alternatives to the medication, keeping in mind that it is possible that flunisolide inhalers may become unavailable in pharmacies earlier than the final date.
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air into and out of your lungs. If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen). The inflammation makes the airways very sensitive, and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating (see Asthma Triggers). When the airways react, they narrow and less air flows to your lungs. This is called bronchospasm. It causes asthma symptoms like wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), coughing, tightness in the chest, and trouble breathing.
While there is no asthma cure, asthma can be controlled. There are many different asthma treatments, including fast-acting "rescue medications" for treating an asthma attack and longer-acting "controller medications" used to prevent asthma attacks. The flunisolide inhaler is a controller medication used to help prevent asthma attacks (but not to treat an attack). Everyone who uses a flunisolide inhaler should also have a rescue medication (such as an albuterol inhaler) available for emergencies.
Flunisolide inhalers are part of a class of drugs called inhaled corticosteroids, or steroids for short. Inflammation is an important component of asthma, and steroids help to decrease inflammation. Because flunisolide is inhaled directly into the lungs, the rest of the body is exposed to lower steroid levels, compared to steroids taken by mouth. This helps reduce or eliminate many of the side effects associated with long-term steroid use.
(Click Asthma Treatment to learn more about treating asthma.)