If you have a serious asthma attack (exacerbation), your doctor may prescribe a short course of oral c orticosteroids. When used orally for less than two weeks, the side effects of corticosteroids are less likely, but when used for many months, they can have a serious and permanent effect. After the severe symptoms of your asthma attack have been successfully treated and controlled, your doctor will work with you to minimize your need for prednisone in the future. Faithfully taking an inhaled corticosteroid every day is the most commonly successful method to do this.
A version of this article appears in print on October 13, 2013, on page A 1 of the New York edition with the headline: The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath. Get Free Email Alerts on These Topics Asthma Drugs (Pharmaceuticals) Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Series Inside Health » Too Hot to Handle Arts » The Harmony of Liberty Opinion » Should Beach Privatization Be Allowed? Room for Debate asks whether shorefront homeowners should have to open their land to all comers.