Inhaled corticosteroid therapy is an important part of asthma management.1 In England last year, over 8.4 million prescriptions for an inhaled corticosteroid (not including combination products) were dispensed in the community, at a total net cost to the NHS of around £138 million.2 Most of these prescriptions were for beclometasone dipropionate (79% of items, £81million); fluticasone propionate and budesonide accounted for 11% (£30 million) and 9% (£25 million), respectively. Around 0.3% of items were for ▼ciclesonide (Alvesco – Altana Pharma), a newer inhaled corticosteroid. Here we consider whether ciclesonide offers any advantages over other, more established inhaled corticosteroids.
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