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Inhaled Steroid Weight Gain
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Inhaled Steroid Weight Gain

I was on Serevent (non-steroid) for 10 years and did fine.  My new doctor decided Symbicort would be safer and more effective. After 6 months I had gained 20 pounds.  I changed to Spriiva (non-steroid)a week ago which works fine. My 2 part question is: how long does the steroid in Symbicort stay in your system and secondly how long will the effect of the steroid use continue.  I'm anxious to lose the weight.  It seems the current wisdom is that an inhaled medicine just stays in your lungs, but if that's true, why is there transdermal medication?
242587_tn?1355427710
I am glad to hear that your asthma can be well controlled.  You ask “how long does the steroid in Symbicort stay in your system?”  The time will vary from one individual to another and between various inhaled steroid preparations and the amount of drug actually inhaled into the lungs, but the half life of inhaled steroids and what is called bio-availability (that is,  the pharmacologically drug that remains in the body and is capable of having an effect on the body) is relatively short, in the range of days to a week or maybe a little longer.  

The inhaled medicine does not “just stay in your lungs”.  Most of what is inhaled is swallowed and never gets to the lungs and only a portion of that that gets to the lungs is bound to tissue to be slowly released.  The bottom line is that the pharmacologic effects (desirable and undesirable) persist for a relatively short time frame.

One final comment is that the inhaled steroid suppresses inflammation in the lung and the time until return of inflammation may significantly exceed the points at which the med is discontinued and all the inhaled steroid metabolized and effectively out of the body.

Good luck
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