Are you rinsing your mouth properly after using Inhaled Corticosteroids (ICS) ?

Are you rinsing your mouth properly after using Inhaled Corticosteroids (ICS) ?

  • Asthma and COPD are one of the major respiratory disease existing in Nepal. COPD and lower respiratory infection are the top three leading health problems causing most of the disease burden in Nepal , as per Nepal government data of 2017. COPD has jumped from 13th to 4th position of premature death since 1990.

  • Inhaled corticosteroids are widely used in Asthma and COPD to improve symptoms and reduce exacerbations. The use of inhaled corticosteroids are associated with the preventable adverse effects including hoarse voice, cough , sore mouth/throat  and oral candidiasis, with hoarse voice being the most common one . Along with that, it is important to know that there is prevalence of systemic side effects as well, which is associated with the use of ICS. Systemic side effects like osteoporosis and diabetes have been seen in person using ICS for long term, as per various studies.

  • A proper rinsing and spitting technique are necessary to prevent any forms of oropharyngeal as well as systemic side effects in those patients. Even gargling spitting as well as brushing teeth It has been found that many patients have been practicing sub optimal rinsing technique, where there is chances of inhalation of the corticosteroids, which can ultimately result into the systemic side effects in the long run.

    So, it is very best advised to patients to seek information from a healthcare professional, which may be doctor, pharmacist or nurse. A proper inhalation technique along with the proper rinsing after using ICS will help to optimize the therapy in both COPD and Asthma patients.

Article by: Nischhal Joshi,Pharmacist.