Information from AAFA’s Ask the Allergist is not a substitute for a consultation with a health care professional. Always talk with your own doctor before making changes to your asthma or allergy management plan.
This question appeared in our spring/summer 2020 issue of freshAAIR Magazine, our FREE digital magazine featuring news and resources on asthma and allergies. Read the most recent issue.
Question: When using oral steroids daily for the treatment of asthma, what is considered a “high dose”?
Answer: Oral steroids are not an ideal treatment of asthma and should be used only as a last resort. The new biologic medicines given by injection or IV do not contain steroids. They have been shown to reduce the need for oral steroids for people with certain types of severe persistent asthma. The side effects of oral steroids depend on both dose and how long you take the medicines. So even low doses can lead to significant side effects over time. The term “high dose” is relative. It means something different to different people. The good news is that fewer people will need daily steroids as asthma medicine options continue to improve.
Dr. Douglas Johnston is our Ask the Allergist columnist. Dr. Johnston is a board-certified allergist/immunologist with Asthma & Allergy Specialists, P.A., in Charlotte, North Carolina. He obtained his D.O. from New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his residency at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, New York. Dr. Johnston grew up with both allergies and asthma. He decided it would be exciting to help people with these conditions. His passion about food allergies also comes from having a child with a peanut allergy.