Saturday, November 14, 2009

To Med, or not to Med?

Hi, all!

I'm happy to say, things have been quiet around here (apart from autism-related behavioral stuff, that is) - no one's coughing right now. Ig even made it through a nasty side infection without a single neb! But alas, it's flu season, so I'm cautious with my optimism.

This just came in via comments, and I thought I should address it, since it's definitely an evergreen topic.

Great blog! I found you by wandering around looking for a comparison of albuterol and xopenex. My DD (5) had a cough and a fever for four days so I took her to see the Ped, who promptly prescribed albuterol inhaler and antibiotics.

I freaked out (my kids have never had prescription meds for anything ever before) and decided NOT to follow Ped's suggestion, hoping that Ped was just CYA and DD could kick it on her own.

Well, fast forward three days and DD is weezing. Now, I'm reconsidering but a friend suggested Xopenex instead. *throws hands up* When I read your blog and the experience of the other parents, I get so frustrated because it seems like once you start, there's no getting off the moving sidewalk of meds. However, DD is miserable and I just want her to get better. *sigh*
First of all, WOW - I can't believe your kids have never been on prescription meds before. That's awesome!

But...y'know what? I think you should consider listening to your pediatrician and starting them. Respiratory illnesses (especially during this particularly creepy flu season) can become very serious, and albuterol - or Xopenex - will help your child breathe more easily.

While they may make her hyper, please remember that your child is probably having difficulty breathing if she's wheezing and coughing. For young kids - heck, even for US! - this is a scary situation. Fast-acting inhalers like albuterol and Xopenex will help her feel better right away. (And if you delay starting the meds, you end up having to put her on Orapred. Horrible!)

I totally get the idea of not completely trusting your docs, believe me - there's tons of research that shows that doctors will prescribe antibiotics and other meds because they think patients expect them. (A direct result of DTC advertising, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish...) My peds know that I often won't fill certain prescriptions they write for my kids (like antibiotics for minor illnesses that may be viral). At least not right away.

But with respiratory stuff, I don't take chances. There's too much room for something to go horribly wrong. I've taken my kids to the ER far too many times to risk it.

In a perfect world, you'll have pediatricians that you trust with your kids lives - literally. But if you question a respiratory diagnosis, find a pediatric pulmonologist or an asthma and allergy specialist.

In this case, please don't wait. If you're questioning the diagnosis, see that specialist ASAP.

And granted, I'm not a doctor or a medical professional or any kind, but as the mother of three asthmatic kids, I hope you'll start the nebs while you consider your options. There are no known long-term side effects to albuterol or Xopenex, and they'll literally help your daughter breathe easier.

Best of luck to you and your little girl. Please feel free to email me or continue our conversation via comments. And apologies if I sound sanctimonious at all - I don't mean to!

BTW, definitely check out the Mothers of Asthmatics site. It's a GREAT resource.

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