To reduce swelling and tightness in their airways, some children with asthma are treated for months or years with an oral corticosteroid, such as prednisone. Others may be treated with a short “burst” of an oral corticosteroid for five to seven days. A burst is prescribed in an emergency situation when asthma severity markedly intensifies. While corticosteroids are known to suppress immune function, children receiving oral corticosteroid treatment rarely have complications from chickenpox.
There is no evidence that an inhaled corticosteroid poses an increased risk for children with asthma who are exposed to chickenpox. Inhaled corticosteroids are used for long-term relief of symptoms and reduce the need for extra medicine, such as oral steroids.
Oral and injectable systemic corticosterois are steroid hormones prescribed to decrease inflammation in diseases and conditions such as arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, for example), ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, asthma, bronchitis, some skin rashes, and allergic or inflammatory conditions that involve the nose and eyes. Examples of systemic corticosteroids include hydrocortisone (Cortef), cortisone, prednisone (Prednisone Intensol), prednisolone (Orapred, Prelone), and methylprednisolone (Medrol, Depo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol). Some of the side effects of systemic corticosteroids are swelling of the legs, hypertension, headache, easy bruising, facial hair growth, diabetes, cataracts, and puffiness of the face.
The most commonly reported side effects were: oral thrush , nausea , headache , and pain in the pharynx or larynx . More rarely reported side effects (occurring in <1% of patients during the clinical trial) include: tachycardia , palpitations , dry mouth , allergic reaction ( bronchospasm , dermatitis , hives ), pharyngitis , muscle spasms , tremor , dizziness , insomnia , nervousness , and hypertension . Patients experiencing an allergic reaction or increase in difficulty breathing while using this medication should immediately discontinue its use and contact their physician.