Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Asthma in Children and the Fear of Pulmicort

New Question - Just In:

HELP!!!!! My son is 7, was dx w/ asthma this past winter after a lifetime of treating what different ped's "thought" were simply nasal infections with antibiotics. We have recently went from zyrtec, to oral steroids, now on to pulmicort, albuterol and Singulair. I am VERY afraid as my son is already a sensitive and emotional boy. It sounds like the pulmicort is simply a BAD med??? Does anyone have any homeopathic advice on treating asthma? My mom is permanently disabled from medications that were not properly tested and monitored...I am in search of help, not more hurt!!! - Tammy

Tammy, I'm *not* a doctor, but I have a few insights I can share from experience:

First of all, many of us who have used Pulmicort and Flovent (same med essentially, delivered differently) have found that Flovent may tend to have less "roid rage"-type side effects.

Personally - and I do have sensitive boys - I haven't seen any negative behavioral effects from the steroids. (At least not that I remember!) Certainly albuterol has them bouncing off the walls, but I give Xopenex as often as I can to aovid that.

I can tell you that it works - WELL. For children with asthma acute enough to require daily inhaled steroids, there aren't many alternatives. None of us likes the fact that our kids are taking steroids every day, but it certainly beats the alternative of not being able to breathe!!

The best recommendation I can give you, though, is SEE A SPECIALIST. If you've read this blog at all, you'll know that I love my pediatricians. But when it comes to asthma-related issues, I call the pulmonologist first, then make a courtesy call to the regular peds to keep them in the loop. Pediatric pulmonologists know more about asthma than general pediatricians do, and understand the subtleties, the latest meds, and so much more than any other doctor.

If there are no pediatric pulmos in your area, look for an allergy and asthma specialist.

On the holistic side, I know many parents who have seen benefit from taking their kids off dairy. Others have seen a lot of success with sinus washes (now sold as "netti pots" at your local CVS) particularly if their kids' asthma is typically triggered by upper respiratory infections.

Again, I'm not a doctor or medical professional of any kind, but this is my best mom-to-mom advice.

I would also refer you to the Asthma-Parents group on Yahoo, which has been a great resource for me over the years. Two other sites:

Hope this is helpful. Best of luck, Tammy!