Alvesco is an artificial medication of the inhaled corticosteroids drug class. Its generic name is ciclesonide. This medication is prescribed to prevent asthma attacks. Doses are available for adults and children 12 years of age and older.

Alvesco reduces the swelling in the body’s airways within the lungs. This makes it easier to breathe and helps prevent asthma attacks.

Precautions and Warnings With Alvesco

Alvesco does not work fast enough to treat an asthma attack and does not replace the use of an inhaler in those circumstances. A doctor should be notified if there is an issue with other prescribed asthma medications.

Steroid medications may also weaken the immune system. This puts patients at greater risk of infection. It is best to avoid others who are ill or have infections. A doctor should be notified if the patient is exposed to chicken pox or measles while taking Alvesco, as it could be fatal. Steroid use may also increase the effects of already-existing infections.

Suppose you have had a history of tuberculosis, oral or throat infection, glaucoma, cataracts, herpes of the eyes, or a family history of osteoporosis. In that case, a doctor should be notified before starting Alvesco.

Alvesco Side Effects

Alvesco may lead to a variety of standard and severe side effects. These may vary depending on age and allergies.

Note that anxiety and weight gain are two side effects that are not associated with Alvesco in clinical trials. However, some other common medications taken with Alvesco may cause those symptoms. This includes bronchodilator and corticosteroid medications.

Common Side Effects

These side effects are milder and should disappear within days or weeks. A doctor should be notified if they persist or worsen.

Common side effects of Alvesco include:

  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Joint, back, arm, or leg pain
  • Swelling in the nose or throat
  • Sinusitis
  • Cough
  • Oral thrush

Serious Side Effects

All of these side effects are very serious or could even be life-threatening. A doctor should be notified immediately if the patient is experiencing any of these issues.

Serious side effects of Alvesco include:

  • Increased cortisol levels
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Decreased bone mineral density
  • Bronchospasm
  • Allergic reactions
  • Eye conditions

Side Effects for Children

Children should be careful taking Alvesco as the medication may stunt their growth and development. This has been tested in clinical trials.

If a child takes the medication, their height should be monitored throughout treatment. A doctor should be notified if they start to fall behind to make adjustments to the medication.

Drug Interactions With Alvesco

The inhalation of Alvesco may have interactions with other medications such as conivaptan, antibiotics, antifungal medications, HIV/AIDS medicines, or antidepressants. Some specific drug interactions for Alvesco may include aldesleukin, desmopressin, oral tablet corticosteroids, and mifepristone.

Alvesco Strengths and Dosages

Alvesco is used by inhalation through the mouth. It is available in two strengths. This includes 80 mcg or 160 mcg. The recommended doses depend on which previous treatments have already been tried. The recommended dose for those 12 years and older include:

Previous TreatmentRecommended Starting DoseRecommended Highest Dose
Bronchodilators80 mcg (twice per day)160 mcg (twice per day)
Inhaled Corticosteroids80 mcg (twice per day)320 mcg (twice per day)
Oral Corticosteroids320 mcg (twice per day)320 mcg (twice per day)

Starting at least one week after Alvesco therapy, those taking the medication should reduce their prednisone intake by no faster than 2.5 mg/day each week. Patients should also be monitored for signs of asthma instability and adrenal insufficiency as they begin to taper off of other medications.

Alvesco Alternatives

Alvesco is currently only available as a brand-name drug. There have yet to be any generic versions available. However, there may still be some other alternatives prescribed.

Various medications are available to treat asthma. Sometimes, a combination of drugs may be necessary. Your doctor might recommend the following inhaled medications:

Frequently Asked Questions About Alvesco

Should Alvesco be taken in the morning or night?

Alvesco can be taken in the morning or the evening, depending on the patient’s preference, but it should be taken consistently. Some studies have indicated that taking corticosteroid ciclesonide in the evening may be as effective as taking it in the morning. However, taking the drug in the evening may lead to more apparent improvement in morning peak expiratory flow.

How long does it take for Alvesco to start working?

Patients may begin to feel the medication starting to work within 24 hours. However, it may take up to 4 weeks before the patient notices improvements in their condition after regularly taking Alvesco. For best results, it must be used in consistent dosages each day. While taking Alvesco regularly, it may take several months before the full effects of the medication can be felt.

Do I need to rinse my mouth after using Alvesco?

Patients must rinse their mouths after using asthma inhalers containing corticosteroids, such as Alvesco. Rinsing out the mouth helps prevent any irritation or inflammation that may be caused in the mouth due to the corticosteroid. Rinsing out the mouth after taking the medication also helps prevent thrush – a fungal infection commonly caused by these inhalers.

Are there withdrawal symptoms for Alvesco?

Alvesco is not known to cause any withdrawal symptoms for those who stop taking the medication. However, patients should proceed with caution when switching from an oral steroid to an inhaled steroid, as it may prevent the production of the body’s steroids, such as cortisol. Switching to Alvesco from an oral steroid may cause withdrawal symptoms such as depression, fatigue, low blood pressure, muscle pain, joint pain, weakness, nausea, and vomiting. In extreme cases, severe withdrawal symptoms from the switch may cause a coma or death. No sudden changes should be made without talking to a doctor first.

Is anxiety a side effect of Alvesco?

Anxiety is not a side effect of taking Alvesco. Anxiety may be a side effect of other medications commonly taken with Alvesco to treat asthma called “bronchodilators.” Some examples of this type of medication include albuterol, levalbuterol, tiotropium, and umeclidinium,

How does Alvesco compare to Symbicort?

Alvesco is a prescription ciclesonide medication commonly prescribed for maintenance and asthma. It is considered an inhaled corticosteroid.

Symbicort is a prescription medication with two active ingredients – budesonide and formoterol. It is considered a bronchodilator combination. Symbicort is used to treat cases of moderate-to-severe asthma that have remained severe after taking other regular inhaled corticosteroids. This medication is prescribed for asthma, maintenance, COPD-maintenance, and COPD. Unlike Alvesco, lower generic version costs may be available for Symbicort but may be associated with more negative side effects.

What is the cost of Alvesco in America?

The cost of Alvesco for both the 80 mcg and 160 mcg inhalation aerosol is about $298.24 for 6.1 grams without insurance or other coupon coverage. Insurance plans and other discounts may be available to lower the price.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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