Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) form the basis of maintenance therapy in asthma and their efficacy is well established. However, the optimal starting dose of ICS is not clearly established. Recent reviews demonstrate a relatively flat efficacy curve for ICS and increasing side effects with increasing ICS doses. High doses are frequently prescribed and there are now reports of significant side effects occurring with high dose ICS use. These issues demonstrate the need to establish the optimal starting dose of ICS in asthma.