ciclesonide (Alvesco)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is ciclesonide, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Ciclesonide (Alvesco) is a man-made steroid for inhalation in the glucocorticoid family. It is related to the naturally-occurring steroid hormone, cortisol or hydrocortisone, produced by the adrenal glands. The body converts ciclesonide to des-ciclesonide, which is the active form of the drug. Glucocorticoid steroids have potent anti-inflammatory actions. When used as an inhaler, ciclesonide travels to the airways in the lung. In people with asthma, the suppression of inflammation within the airways reduces the spasm of muscle cells that surround the airways as well as the accumulation of fluid and cells that accompanies the inflammation which lead to narrowing of the airways. The narrowing makes it difficult to get air into and out of the lungs. When used in lower doses, very little ciclesonide is absorbed into the body. When higher doses are used, ciclesonide is absorbed and may cause side effects elsewhere in the body. The FDA approved ciclesonide in January 2010.

What brand names are available for ciclesonide?

Alvesco

Is ciclesonide available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for ciclesonide?

Yes

What are the side effects of ciclesonide?

WARNING

  • Ciclesonide may cause bronchospasm.
  • Ciclesonide should not be used for treatment of acute asthmatic attacks.
  • Ciclesonide may worsen existing viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infections such as tuberculosis, measles, chicken pox, or herpes.

Quick GuideAsthma Symptoms, Causes, and Medications

Asthma Symptoms, Causes, and Medications

What is the dosage for ciclesonide?

The recommended dose is 80 to 320 mcg oral inhalation twice daily.

Which drugs or supplements interact with ciclesonide?

Some drugs (for example, ketoconazole [Nizoral, Extina, Xolegel, Kuric]) that reduce the activity of liver enzymes that breakdown drugs may increase the levels of des-ciclesonide, which is the active form of ciclesonide, and lead to increased exposure of the body to des-ciclesonide and more side effects.

Is ciclesonide safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Use during pregnancy has not been adequately evaluated. Ciclesonide harmed the fetus in animal reproductive studies.

It is not known whether ciclesonide is secreted in breast milk. Other medications in this class are secreted into breast milk. It is not known whether the small amounts of ciclesonide that may appear in breast milk have an effect on the infant.

What else should I know about ciclesonide?

What preparations of ciclesonide are available?

Aerosol: 80, and 160 mcg per inhalation

How should I keep ciclesonide stored?

Ciclesonide should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

Summary

Ciclesonide (Alvesco) is a prescription glucocorticoid drug used to treat asthma in individuals 12 years of age or older. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing, storage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding information should be reviewed before taking this medication.

Treatment & Diagnosis

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Reviewed on 11/4/2015
References
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

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