Eosinophilic Esophagitis Treatment – Side Effects of Swallowed Inhaled (Topical) Steroids

What are the Side Effects of Fluticasone (Flovent) or Viscous Budesonide (Pulmicort)

The most common side effect is a yeast infection of the throat (esophageal candidiasis) which is due to local immunosuppresive effects of steroids. This side effects occurs in less than 10 percent of patients on this therapy. This condition usually presents with a sharp pain in the throat; if these symptoms occur while on swallowed inhaled steroids, the prescribing physician should be notified. This infection can be effectively treated with a course of antifungals. There are some patients who experience recurrent yeast infections which may prevent swallowed steroids from being used as a treatment option for EE.

The question whether swallowed steroids results in systemic side effects that may be seen with steroids taken by other methods, such as growth delay or adrenal suppresion is currently being evaluated. Preliminary evidence up to this point suggest that these risks may be reduced with swallowed inhaled steroids, which may be due to the method of delivery of these steroids.

Other reported side effects include:

– Dry mouth
– One case report of herpes infection of the esophagus with swallowed fluticasone therapy

If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms including increasing throat pain or pain with swallowing, you should contact your treating provider.

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