A lot of parents have concerns about side effects from steroids. Steroids are present inside all of our bodies but when we use them as a medicine, they can help treat inflammation and swelling, which is a big part of asthma.

Steroids come in many different forms, as well as many different doses. When steroids are given by mouth, or through a shot, the dose is a lot higher than what we use when given through an inhaler.

An important thing to remember is that the steroids we use in medicine to treat asthma are not the same as anabolic steroids which are used by weight lifters and athletes to make their muscles big and strong. Your child will not develop big muscles by using their inhaler or any of the side effects associated with anabolic steroids.

There is a common side effect that can occur if you use inhaled steroids, however. This is called thrush. Thrush is a white coating that can develop inside the mouth or on the tongue.

It is very easy to treat if it does occur. However, it is also very easy to prevent. Just make sure that your child brushes their teeth and tongue after they use their inhaler or rinses their mouth. This should be done every time they use their steroid inhaler to help prevent thrush from occurring.

To learn more about the treatment options and asthma care team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, visit: