Have you ever wondered if you must rinse your mouth out after using your inhaler? You should rinse your mouth out after using certain inhalers, but it is not necessary for every inhaler. It is important to rinse your mouth after inhaler use only for inhalers containing corticosteroids to prevent a condition called thrush.
Corticosteroid inhalers are used to treat respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Corticosteroids are a type of medication that helps reduce inflammation in your lungs and makes it easier for you to breathe. Here is an example list of inhaled corticosteroids and the corresponding brand name inhalers in which the corticosteroid is contained:
- Fluticasone (Flovent, Advair, Breo, Trelegy, Arnuity, AirDuo Respiclick, Armonair Digihaler)
- Ciclesonide (Alvesco)
- Mometasone (Asmanex, Dulera)
- Budesonide (Pulmicort, Symbicort, Breztri)
- Triamcinolone (Azmacort)
- Beclometasone (Qvar, Beclovent)
- Flunisolide (Aerobid, Aerobid-M)
Note, this is not an all-inclusive list of inhalers containing inhaled corticosteroids. If you are not sure whether your inhaler contains an inhaled corticosteroid, speak with your health care provider or pharmacist. This list also contains inhalers with multiple drug ingredients in addition to the corticosteroid. For example, Advair contains a corticosteroid fluticasone but also contains a bronchodilator called salmeterol. This list is intended to help you determine whether your inhaler contains a corticosteroid.
The reason it is important to rinse your mouth after using an inhaled corticosteroid is because some of the medicine can stick to the back of your throat or in your mouth. If the medicine stays there for a long time, it can weaken the immune system in the mouth and throat and create an environment that encourages the growth of a fungus called candida. Candida can cause an infection called thrush. Signs and symptoms of thrush include white patches, redness, sore throat/mouth, and difficulty swallowing. You can help prevent a thrush infection by rinsing your mouth after each time you use your corticosteroid inhaler. This will help wash away any leftover medicine and reduce the risk of the candida growing and causing thrush. Simply swish a small sip of water in your mouth and spit it out after each use.
Remember, you do not have to rinse your mouth if your inhaler does not contain an inhaled corticosteriod. However, it will not cause any harm if you do. Speak with your health care provider or pharmacist if you’re not sure how to properly use your inhaler or unsure whether you should rinse your mouth after use.
Disclaimer: This blog is written for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen online.