Poor Growth: While poor growth can result from ICS, poorly controlled asthma can also lead to poor growth in children. In general, low and medium doses of ICS are potentially associated with small, non-progressive but reversible declines in growth of children. As a result, you and your asthma provider should not only carefully monitor growth, but try to use the lowest possible dose that gets good control of your child's asthma. You must weigh the potential benefits of good asthma control with the small but real possible side effect of slowed growth.
Inhaled glucocorticoids (also called inhaled corticosteroids or ICS) have fewer and less severe adverse effects than orally-administered glucocorticoids, and they are widely used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) [ 1 ]. However, there are concerns about the systemic effects of ICS, particularly as they are likely to be used over long periods of time, in infants, children, and older adults [ 2,3 ]. The safety of ICS has been extensively investigated since their introduction for the treatment of asthma 30 years ago [ 4-9 ].
High dosages of oral corticosteroids taken daily for prolonged periods of time can have serious systemic side effects including bone loss ( osteoporosis), increased risk of infections and diabetes and cataracts, thinning of skin, stretch marks, increased facial/body hair growth, acne, fluid retention, weight gain with redistribution of fat (fat deposits on back and face, thinning of limbs), muscle weakness, decreased resistance to infections, stomach ulcers, mood swings, insomnia, suppression of the body's own production of cortisol, etc.