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List of Steroids Used to Treat Breathing Problems

author image Adam Cloe Ph.D./M.D.
Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.
List of Steroids Used to Treat Breathing Problems
Xray Photo Credit: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Many different lung problems can be caused by or exacerbated by inflammation, which is caused by the immune system. This is especially true for lung problems related to asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Because of the role of inflammation, corticosteroids are often used to treat lung and breathing problems. Corticosteroids work by inhibiting the immune system, causing a reduction in inflammation.

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Prednisone can be purchased via a prescription under a number of different brand names, including Sterapred and Deltasone. Prednisone may be taken as a tablet or may come as an inhalable spray. Prednisone tablets are typically taken once a day, whereas the spray may be used multiple times per day because it involves lower doses of prednisone.


Triamcinolone is sold under the name of Artistocort, Azmacort, Kenalog-40 and Tac-3. When prescribed for breathing problems, triamcinolone is usually prescribed in aerosol form so it can be easily inhaled. Traimcinolone is typically administered via an inhaler, which may require a special "spacer" to hold the medication if it is difficult for you to inhale deeply.


Dexamethasone is also called Decadron, Dexamethasone Intensol, and Dexpak Taperpak. Dexamethasone usually comes in tablet form or dissolved in a liquid. Dexamethasone is a powerful corticosteroid, so it may also be used to treat a variety of other conditions. Because it is so potent and is taken orally which means it affects the whole body, it can also suppress the immune system, making you more likely to get an infection.

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