24 answers

11 Month Old Prescribed Pulmicort

My 11 month son who wheezes from time to time had a recheck on his ear infection today. Well he was wheezing today and the doctor prescribed Pulmicort to use in his nebulizer twice a day. We already use the albuterol as needed, but not on a regular basis. She said the Pulmicort would prevent asthma symptoms, even though she said he is not officially diagnosed as asthmatic because they do not diagnose asthma in children until they are two years of age. I am concerned about the Pulmicort because I have been doing research and have found that it can cause weight gain (because it is a steroid) and that it can damage teeth. I have also read that some people have had problems with their child's behavior and sleep while on it. I am not sure if the benefits outweigh the risks and side effects. She did say that she just wanted to use it through the spring time, but I am concerned about starting him on it. Does anyone know anything about this medicine or has anyone ever used it themselves or for their children?

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Hi L.,
I have a beautiful 17 month old son who was put on Pulmicort at 4 months old. At the age of 6 months he started seeing a pulmonologist, which started him on Quvar (another inhaled steroid). My son eats all the time but is actually in the 50th percentile for weight at his age. We have not had any problems with excessive weight gain or any problems with his teeth due to the inhaled steroids. If you are not seeing a pulmonologist I would suggest that you do. There may be other medications out there better suited for him. I hope that all goes well for you!

My 16mo old has been on pulmicort and xopenex since she had RSV at 3 months. We haven't noticed any significant changes in her weight she stays in the 75%, where she's been since she started formula (we had breastfeeding issues). It really does make a huge difference in preventing the symptoms, pulmicort is a maintence medication as where albuterol is a rescue medicine...chances are once you start the pulmicort you'll need the albuterol less. Albuterol is a steriod too...if I'm not mistaken its a stronger dose delivered faster into their system. We're hoping we can end breathing treatments in the spring and see how it goes. Good luck!

Oh-couple of things that have helped with the congestion is saline spray and wipes (Boogie Wipes @ Rite Aid) and Ocean gel (saline gel) on her nose at night. It helps prevent the crusty nose, and the spray helps the flush the mucus out!

Have you looked into the CAUSES of his asthma such as diet? Also having had asthma for over 15+ years and having a child who had severe asthma (caused by vaccinations) since we have been going to the chiropractor for he past 5 years neither of us has had an attack or needed to be on any medications. I'd rather go to the chiropractor for an adjustment then ever been on pulmicort again which caused a huge weight gain AND i had my first cavities ever in my life (all 6 of them) in the 2 years I was on pulmicort.

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Hello, I all to familiar with your plight. My daughter was 3 months old when she contracted RSV. After that she did have respiratory problems for about 3.5 yrs. Her allergist/asthma doctor had her on this drug. She didn't gain weight but as far as the teeth, no real problems there either, (she has issues now, but mostly due to not brushing properly!) I had to give my child the Pulmicort and the Albuteral which I hated, the Albuteral made her so nervous and excitable. I was finally able to get her on Xopenex it does the same thing but doesn't have all the nasty side effects like Albuteral. I felt that after a time she didn't need it but her doctor wanted to keep her on it, so I got a second opinion and they agreed with me, she had pretty much grown out of it. She still from time to time gets some problems, but it's few and far between. She's 8 now, we just have to deal with the usual stuff during season changes.

Bottom line, make the decision that you feel is best. My child I feel is better now and the product did help her at the time.

Good luck to you.

Have you looked into the CAUSES of his asthma such as diet? Also having had asthma for over 15+ years and having a child who had severe asthma (caused by vaccinations) since we have been going to the chiropractor for he past 5 years neither of us has had an attack or needed to be on any medications. I'd rather go to the chiropractor for an adjustment then ever been on pulmicort again which caused a huge weight gain AND i had my first cavities ever in my life (all 6 of them) in the 2 years I was on pulmicort.

Both my children have been on Pulmicort. My youngest started on it as an infant. They're both off it now and they're both diagnosed as asthmatic. My youngest used Xoponex instead of albuteral b/c the side effects are much less...and the steroid in the Pulmicort is very little...

I used to talk to a lot of moms and also nurses to discuss it. You're smart to ask about it.

Good luck...and the bottom line for me is that the meds worked and I'm very happy my children used them.

Hi L.,

Unless something is life threatening I would never use a steroid. I was on them as a child and the damage done is almost impossible to reverse. One week on a steroid, even topically, does as much damage to bones, i.e. bone loss, as menopause does to a woman. You are correct about the teeth and it also messes with the hormones and the neurological system.

No one has symptoms like wheezing without some sort of trigger. The trigger can even be a small one if the immune system has been compromised. Detoxing your home will be very beneficial and the symptoms may even vanish permanently. I have seen it happen. If you're interested in detoxing, I'll be glad to give you more information. It is very simple and can be very inexpensive as well.

I received some interesting information about albuterol at the hospital the other day as well and will be glad to share that with you too.

God bless,

M.
www.squidoo.com/ifyourbabycouldtalk

Hi L., I understand your concern. My daughter had a really bad case of bronchitis when she was 3 and she was prescribed it for 3 weeks. I was more concerned with the fact that she was having trouble breathing than the possible side effect of weight gain. By the way my daughter did not gain any weight when she was on it :) Also as you know pediatric dosage is always smaller doses than adult, so I wouldn't be overly concerned with weight gain and sleep problems. It does tend to speed up the heart rate but so does the Albuterol your child is already on. My daughter was also on Albuterol & Pulmicort. I can't recall any behavior problem eigher. Hope this helps. Have a blessed day!

Hello, my name is T. and I have a son that is now 3 and has been on Pulmicort for several years. He gets croup and has to use pulmicort and also xophenex (which is just like albuterol). My son did get diagnosed with asthma and I had to go and see a allergiest/asthma doctor to get diagnosed. If your son continues like this I would get him checked out by an allergiest. MY son has not had any problems with what you were talking about with the side effects. Spring time is when my sons flare up the most! I wish you luck with all this. If you have any more questions, please email me and I can try and help you. Also, if you live in the Gwinnett area, I have a great allergy/asthma doctor.
T.

Hi- I am a mom and a pharmacist, I don't have personal experience with Pulmicort but can give you my professional opinion. Because Pulmicort is an inhaled steroid you are not going to experience the same effects as one taken orally and absorbed throughout the body- in other words, it is much safer. Also, I like how your pediatrician didn't label him with asthma and just mentioned using it for a season, short term use will also minimize any negative effects. Plus, he might grow out of it or it could be seasonal/allergy related.

However, it sounds like this was the first time she even noticed wheezing- as long as your child isn't having difficulty breathing or labored breathing, you might want to talk to your doctor about waiting a week or so to start it. Also, you could always take your son to a specialist- and Allergist or Pulmonologist for a second opinion.

Bottom line is that if your son needs his lungs opened up so that he can breathe better, then "yes" it is worth it to try Pulmicort. I would give it to my son if he needed it.

Hope that helps you think through it a little!

Does anyone in your house smoke? Smoking can cause or contribute to ear infections. Also you can cover the mattress and pillow with allergen covers and use a small hepa filter in his room or a large one in your house with hepa filters on your furnace.

I don't know alot about Pulmicort, but I have asthma myself and have discovered through Naturopathic Medicine that my asthma is caused by my food allergies. It may be difficult to determine for an 11 month old, but you can do an elimination diet to try and pinpoint the culprit if in fact it is a food allergy causing this. Also mold in the house or pets can contribute to asthma. I am not a Dr. myself, but I would highly recommend at least investigating Naturopathic means to help the asthma before putting your child on something that could cause serious side effects. If you want to contact me, I can give you the names of two very good Naturopathic Dr.s.

Good Luck, I hope you can find a solution that gives you peace of mind.

Both of my children use a combination of Albuterol and Pulmicort throught the nebulizer. My daughter is now 3. She started on Albuterol (9 months of age) at first b/c of her wheezing. Once that stabilized they put her on Pulmicort once daily to prevent wheezing. Now my 6 month old son is doing the same. It never had any side affects on my daughter at all. She just hates the nebulizer. The Albuterol and Pulmicort both make my son a little hyper, but that only lasts about 30 minutes. Therefore, I give him his breathing treatments earlier in the evening as opposed to bed time.

I feel that these medications are worth it!! Otherwise we would be in the doctors office more often with much serious problems. Take the Pulmicort daily. If he coughts during the night add a vial of Albuterol to the Pulmicort. That helps my children tremendously!!!

I work in a peds office, and pulmicort seems to help a lot of our patients. Some parents even swear by it. I feel like some of the concerns you have (weight gain, sleep problems) are minor compared to the symptoms of wheezing and asthma. I hope you can make a confident, well-informed decision on what you would like to do. Best of luck.

Hi, my son has asthma at 7 years and Singulair has worked brilliantly for him. It is not a steroid like Pulmicort is, so has much less dangerous side effects. He hasn't had any problems at all with it! There are 4 mg powder sachets for children under five to take. Hope this helps!! :)

My 16mo old has been on pulmicort and xopenex since she had RSV at 3 months. We haven't noticed any significant changes in her weight she stays in the 75%, where she's been since she started formula (we had breastfeeding issues). It really does make a huge difference in preventing the symptoms, pulmicort is a maintence medication as where albuterol is a rescue medicine...chances are once you start the pulmicort you'll need the albuterol less. Albuterol is a steriod too...if I'm not mistaken its a stronger dose delivered faster into their system. We're hoping we can end breathing treatments in the spring and see how it goes. Good luck!

Oh-couple of things that have helped with the congestion is saline spray and wipes (Boogie Wipes @ Rite Aid) and Ocean gel (saline gel) on her nose at night. It helps prevent the crusty nose, and the spray helps the flush the mucus out!

My twins used Pulmicort. They were born premature and had RSV as babies, so they had lung issues were prone to wheezing. We did get to the point where we did not need it during the summer and later we switched to Flovent. And I am happy to say that so far this past winter & spring, we have not had to use anything (knock on wood!). They are now 5 years old. So there is always the possibility that yours could outgrow this too...

I did not notice any side effects when my boys were using it. And for sure, they did not have weight gain. They've always been on the low end of the scale, and they continued to grow along their height/weight curve--nothing unexpected.

My son does not have asthma but he had reflux and spent almost the first 2 years of his life on prevacid. During that time stdueis came out showing that it causes bone loss in older adults and I became very concerned that it would affect his young growing bones. I spoke with his gastrenterologist about it. He asked me to weigh what would sone experience without the medicine vs. with it. Without he would be in terrible pain, impossible to console and starving and failing to grow. With it, he was a happy healthy boy who could eat and gain weight/height (albeit slower than other kids). In that light, we saw it was worth the temporary exposure to something that might have a negative affect. I don't know if our rationale would apply to your situation.

Take him off of all dairy and wheat (anything made from flour) for 2 weeks and see if the wheezing AND ear infections go away. I'd be very surprised if they didn't. Both of these are the top allergens for children and can wreak havoc on their little systems. My little brother used to have trouble breathing if he had too much wheat over a 3 or 4 day period- would get very croupy and stuffy. Some kids just aren't born with the right internal enzymes to break down these foods. These allergens force the body to make mucus in order to coat/ protect the cells from the "invader". The mucus causes ear infections, croupe, stuffiness, diarrhea, asthma. Can be difficult to eliminate these foods at first because you're suddenly aware that so many things have wheat, but if you go to Whole Foods, they have a sign on every product that is "gluten (wheat) free", and for the dairy, he's so young he won't care whether his milk, cheese, or yogurt is made out of rice or soy instead. Better to address the root cause now than to continue to give him allergens AND toxic meds that could be unnecessary. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS- you have reservations about this for a reason, and your doctor does not "know" (deep down "Know") what's best for your child- you do. BTW, if you ask your doctor about cutting out wheat and dairy, she'll more than likely poo poo it. But just do it- won't hurt for 2 weeks- and then the proof will be in the pudding (the rice pudding, of course!:) )

Oh, how terrible for your little one! I know you must be concerned...I would be too. I wanted to chime in here because my husband has asthma. He has NEVER, yes never used any kind of prescription medication. We do it all naturally, as with any other illness in our family. My husband wanted to strengthen his lungs and not create dependency on a product that would weaken them. So, this is what we have done:

Colloidal silver in a nebulizer (we also have used it for pneumonia and croup)

Lung and Bronchial herbal formula (can get in capsules and extract..this is what my husband uses from time to time)

There are many other things or options that you can do, but the above is just a couple of them.

In addition, people with asthma should NOT consume any dairy products (especially in the form of milk...it's very mucus forming). Also, with ear infections, etc., laying off milk will help in that department as well. Food can trigger multiple problems in some people especially if they are allergic to them.

Hi L.,
I have a beautiful 17 month old son who was put on Pulmicort at 4 months old. At the age of 6 months he started seeing a pulmonologist, which started him on Quvar (another inhaled steroid). My son eats all the time but is actually in the 50th percentile for weight at his age. We have not had any problems with excessive weight gain or any problems with his teeth due to the inhaled steroids. If you are not seeing a pulmonologist I would suggest that you do. There may be other medications out there better suited for him. I hope that all goes well for you!

My advise is to use the Pulmicort. You do not want to have your child end up with asthma and, clearly, the albuterol isn't doing enough on it's own to help your son breathe. At least give it a try for a while before you go on to something new. Possible side effects are not absolute side effects. If nothing else, it's just plain miserable not to be able to breathe well. I know you only want what's best for you son -- of course! -- but so does his doctor. Trust the doctor's expert opinion -- or at least go to him/her with your questions and concerns and see if the two of you can come up with a good game plan for your son. The end result everyone wants is for your son to breathe comfortably and be a happy, healthy kid!

All I can tell you is my experience and you can go from there - both myself as well as my now 7 yr old daughter have had to use Pulmicort for many years to help with our asthmatic symptoms. It really makes a world of difference in the ability to breathe and to reduce the "can't get enough air" feeling. I am also going to tell you that we ARE having weight issues with my daughter, but I am not certain that is b/c of this medication. My suggestion is to try it - see if it makes a difference - if it does then how can you not use it. Unfortunately in Savannah we all have trouble occasionally with allergies and most of us are going to need help. The big issue here is to make sure that your son is getting enough oxygen - without getting enough your body will start to deteriorate and not be able to fight anything. The issue of the steroid is a concerning one, but I think that the ability to breath properly far outweighs the cons of introducing a steroid to your baby boy. Also keep in mind that this is NOT an all the time kind of treatment - we only have to use the two medications when we are having a particularly bad episode with the allergies. An example, my daughter is having some allergy problems now, but her breathing is perfect, therefore, no breathing treatments necessary - I on the other hand am having some wheezing so I am using the treatments on an as needed basis. My daughter hasn't had a treatment in almost a year. Good Luck!

Both of my kids (now 4 and 7) have been on Pulmicort on and off, and we haven't had any side effects from it. All kids are different, so if your son does have trouble sleeping after using it, you can try to find another treatment. It is very good for a preventative, and you really don't want your son to have trouble breathing. If you're worried about his teeth, I would recommend having him drink something after the treatment or brushing his teeth. I hope your son can find some relief!

I have used it with my 5 year old from time to time. He uses it with the albuterol. My 10 month old also had the exact same thing happen yesterday as your baby. He is now on an oral steroid and albuterol.

My oldest has done both and I have not seen any of the side effects you speak of in your question. I would give it a try because certainly you can decide not to do it but I would definitely try it. My baby may have to go to the hospital today since his oxygen level is so low. I would rather do as much as home as possible.

Hey L.,
My 4 1/2 year old son was first started on Albuterol & Pulmicort when he was 13 months old for wheezing also. We've only used it as needed when he's had persistent respiratory infections. It absolutely helps him get over the infections or viruses faster because his lungs are able to clear the mucous easier. He hasn't had any problems with growth (always 50th percentile) and his teeth are perfect. You just have to make sure you rinse the mouth out after using the nebulizer. The use has gotten less frequent as he's gotten older- I think we only used the nebulizer for one illness this past cold/flu season.
On a side note, my pediatrician said that she won't diagnose asthma until age 8 because a child's lungs are still maturing.
And, like the pharmacist who responded said, inhaled steroids aren't systemic, so they don't have the same effect on the body that oral steroids do. I feel that it's only helped my son.
Good Luck in your decision!
Blessings,
S.

Hi!
I just want to share that my daughter was diagnosed with asthma at eighteen months. by a very good pediatric pulminologist(lung specialist for children). If it wern't for him we would have never got any sleep. Yes she took pulmicort and yes it can be bad for your teeth "IF" you don't rinse or brush after treatment. So many people give it to them in the bed and not at least rinse their mouth out. We were sure to brush her teeth. She is now eight and has not had not one cavity! As for the weight gain we really didn't see that much,and as with anything, every child is different in how side effects treat them. Hope this helps. Good luck!

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