Asthma in Children (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Medicine does not cure asthma. But it is an important part of managing the condition. Medicines for asthma treatment are used to:
Asthma medicines are divided into two groups: those for prevention and long-term control of inflammation and those that provide quick relief for asthma attacks. Most children with persistent asthma need to use long-term medicines daily. Quick-relief medicines are used as needed and provide rapid relief of symptoms during asthma attacks.
Most medicines for asthma are inhaled, because a specific dose of the medicine can be given directly to the bronchial tubes. Delivery systems include metered-dose and dry powder inhalers and nebulizers. A metered-dose inhaler is used most often.
Many doctors recommend that every child who uses a metered-dose inhaler (MDI) also use a spacer, which is attached to the MDI. A spacer may deliver the medicine to your child's lungs better than an inhaler alone. And for many people a spacer is easier to use than an MDI alone. Using a spacer with inhaled corticosteroids can help reduce their side effects and the need for oral corticosteroids.
The most important asthma medicines are:
Long-term medicines sometimes used alone or with other medicines for daily treatment include:
Other medicines may be given in some cases.
Medicine treatment for asthma depends on your child's age, his or her type of asthma, and how well the treatment is controlling asthma symptoms.
Your child's doctor will work with you and your child to help find the number and dose of medicines that work best.
Concern about medicines and growth
There has been some worry that children who use inhaled corticosteroids may not grow as tall as other children. In the studies done so far, there was a very small difference in height and growth in children using inhaled corticosteroids compared to children not using them.
When these children stopped using inhaled corticosteroids, their growth increased. It is expected that even though using inhaled corticosteroids may slow growth at first, children will still grow to a normal height.19 But no study has gone on long enough for experts to be sure. The difference in height is very small, and this effect is rare. But children using inhaled corticosteroids should have their height checked once or twice a year.
What to think about
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