Asmanex is commonly prescribed to prevent asthma attacks rather than treating them once they start. The medication comes in a special inhaler, and it is taken once or twice a day, every day. Among the side effects that may occur during treatment with Asmanex are upper respiratory infections, headaches, and sore throat.
Normally, air moves easily into and out of the lungs through a network of airways. However, when you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen). This inflammation makes the airways sensitive, and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating (see Asthma Triggers). When the airways react, the muscles around these airways tighten, inflammation inside the airways increases, and cells inside the airways produce more mucus. This narrows the airways and makes it harder to breathe.
Asmanex is an asthma medication that belongs to a group of drugs called inhaled corticosteroids, or steroids for short. Inhaled steroids go directly into the lungs and help to decrease the inflammation of airways that makes asthma attacks more likely. Because the medication does not work quickly, it should not be used for treating an asthma attack. Rather, it is used twice a day in order to prevent them.
Because Asmanex is inhaled directly into the lungs, the rest of the body is exposed to lower steroid levels, compared to steroids that are taken orally. This helps reduce or eliminate many of the side effects associated with long-term steroid use.
(Click Asthma Treatment for information about other medicines used for treating asthma.)
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed June 28, 2012.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed April 24, 2007.
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