Oral steroids enter the bloodstream to get to the lungs, so they can cause these and other systemic effects, particularly if used frequently or for long periods of time. Other effects include cataracts, increased blood sugar, lack of blood supply to some bones and suppression of the body's own production of steroids needed during stress. Since inhaled steroids reduce the amount of oral steroids that may be needed for asthma, they may be safer than just using as needed mediation in all but the mildest forms of asthma. If your child is given many courses of oral steroids, careful monitoring for some of these side effects may be necessary.
This medicine may increase your risk of having an adrenal gland that is less active than normal. The adrenal gland makes steroids for your body. This is more likely for people who use steroids for a long time or use high doses. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have more than one of the following symptoms: darkening of the skin, diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, loss of appetite, depression, nausea, skin rash, unusual tiredness or weakness, or vomiting. Rarely, menstrual cycle changes, acne, pimples, or weight gain (fat deposits) around the face, neck, and trunk may occur while using this medicine.
Patients requiring oral corticosteroids should be weaned slowly from systemic corticosteroid use after transferring to ALVESCO. Prednisone reduction can be accomplished by reducing the daily prednisone dose by mg on a weekly basis during ALVESCO therapy [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION ]. Lung function (FEV 1 or AM PEFR), beta-agonist use, and asthma symptoms should be carefully monitored during withdrawal of oral corticosteroids. In addition to monitoring asthma signs and symptoms, patients should be observed for signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency, such as fatigue, lassitude , weakness, nausea and vomiting, and hypotension .