What Are Triamcinolone Inhalers Used For?
Some people may wonder, "What are triamcinolone inhalers used for?" The triamcinolone inhaler is used for preventing asthma attacks in adults, adolescents, and children who are at least six years old. Because the inhaler is a "controller medication," people with asthma should also have a rescue medication (such as an albuterol inhaler) available for emergencies. The triamcinolone inhaler can also be used off-label to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
What Are Triamcinolone Inhalers Used For?The triamcinolone inhaler (Azmacort®) is a prescription medication used to prevent asthma attacks. It is part of a class of asthma medications known as inhaled corticosteroids, or steroids for short.
As of December 2009, the manufacturer of the triamcinolone inhaler decided to stop making it in order to comply with regulations concerning chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), chemicals that may deplete the ozone layer. Had the triamcinolone inhaler been a more popular drug, the manufacturer would probably have chosen to reformulate the drug without CFCs, instead of just discontinuing it. Any unexpired triamcinolone inhalers still in pharmacies may be dispensed until December 31, 2010, after which they can no longer be sold in the United States.
The Triamcinolone Inhaler for Asthma
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air into and out of your lungs. When you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen). This inflammation makes the airways very sensitive, and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating (see Asthma Triggers). When the airways react, they narrow and reduce the airflow to your lungs. This is called bronchospasm, and it can cause asthma symptoms like wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), coughing, tightness in the chest, and trouble breathing.
While there is no asthma cure, asthma can be controlled. There are many different asthma treatments, including fast-acting "rescue medications" for treating an asthma attack and longer-acting "controller medications" used to prevent asthma attacks. The triamcinolone inhaler is a controller medication, used to help prevent asthma attacks (but not to treat an attack). Everyone who takes the triamcinolone inhaler should also have a rescue medication (such as an albuterol inhaler) available for emergencies.
The triamcinolone inhaler is part of a class of drugs called inhaled corticosteroids, or steroids for short. Inflammation is an important component of asthma, and steroids help to decrease inflammation. Because triamcinolone is inhaled directly into the lungs, the rest of the body is exposed to lower steroid levels, compared to steroids taken by mouth. This helps reduce or eliminate many of the side effects associated with long-term steroid use.
(Click Asthma Treatment to learn more about treating asthma.)