27 answers

6 Month Old Infant on Albuterol for Wheezing and Cough. Side Effects Are Crazy!

Does anyone have any info on giving a child oral Albuterol. She has a seemingly productive cough but no other cold symptoms. Doctor told me it was a virus and prescribed oral Albuterol. Pharmacist said that it would make her hyper but I wasnt prepared for how hyper she would become. It is like having a baby on speed. I would consider stopping the treatment but want to know if anyone has similiar situation. Doctor seemed to have diagnosed her in 20 seconds. Any thoughts? Thanks!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well after 4 action packed days with a baby on albuterol, the doctor said her lungs sounded clear and I could take her off the medicine. I really do appreciate all you moms taking time out of your busy schedules to respond to my dilemna. Reading the responses is very reassuring. Thanks again.

Featured Answers

I would ask about albuterol through a breathing machine. My son used that when he was younger. There were never any side effects like that. It really helped also!

I wanted to let you know that my daughter has been on allbuteral since she was 8 months old, she is not on it all the time but when she gets bad colds she goes right on it. It does make them more hyper. She is 3 1/2 now so she is a little bit more used to it. She still can be crazy and i do have to watch her when she is on it because she sometimes cannot control herself, she gets frustrated real easy and i have to remember to go with the flow. we also have been on pulimicort which is not as bad of a steroid, what i started doing was chaging the albuterol doses a little bit, because she was so hyper, i would get the liquid that is not pre mixed and i would mix it but at a lower amount, she was still getting the medicine but she just happen to be getting a lower amount. i do have to admit that if really does help the lungs and the ability for them to breath, we have to take the good with the bad, if you have any more questions feel free to email me, ____@____.com good luck and i hope she does not have to stay on it too long.

My daughter breaks out in hives from the liquid Albuterol. Her doctor tried to tell me that she shouldn't be having any effects from it. Not true! It got so bad I rushed her to the ER. Take her off of it and talk to another doctor or pharmacist. I am always calling a CVS or Walgreens pharmacy if I have questions about side effects. They may even be able to suggest something different. I use Dimetapp or Robitussin.

More Answers

As a pediatrician, I can tell you that wheezing and cough are common symptoms, but do not always mean your child has asthma. Oral albuterol is no longer recommended treatment for asthma for the reason you have discovered...the side effects are terrible and it doesn't help the cough much. If you're going to use albuterol, use the inhaled form ie puffer or nebuliser, with a mask. If it helps, go ahead and use it, if not, just stop. Albuterol is a safe medication in children but obviously you only want to use what you need.
If it's a virus, the wheeze should improve after a few days but teh cough may persist. The way to tell an asthma 'cough' is that it's worse at night. If it's worse during the day, it's probably just a virus. Viruses tend to trigger asthma so it's sometimes hard to know the difference.

My advice is definitely stop the oral albuterol, see how your daughter is and if the cough is still there, especially at night, try inhaled albuterol (you can now only get Xoponex)

1 mom found this helpful

There is a medicine on the market similar to Albuterol called Xopanex (ZO-pa-nex). It works the same way only it doesn't cause the hyperactivity and rapid heart rate. Pediatricians use it a lot on little kids and elderly people. Might check with your pedatrician, since she had such a reaction.
Another great little trick I learned is to rub your baby's feet with Vicks Vapo rub. Sounds dumb, I know, but it works like a charm... almost immediately. Has to do with the reflex points on your feet that connect to the rest of your body. Make sure you focus on the ball of the foot. I have asthma and it works great for adults too!
Good luck!
Jaime

I would ask for a nebulizer and xopenex as the mist medication. My son used that first for 2 years before they ever gave him albuterol. I would trust your instincts and go back to the Dr. asap and ask for something else. My son has been using Albuterol from 2yrs-5yrs old off and on as needed, and it has caused minimal hyperactivity for him. He uses an inhaler and a child's mask.

Our daughter is the same age and she was on level albuterol which was given through the enebeulizer (sp). It worked really well her wheezing went away in a couple days along with the cough she was having bronchial spasms.

My 9 month old has the RSV virus right now and the doctor prescribed albuterol -- but we first took it through the nebulizer and then through an inhaler with a special mask-contraption on the end designed for babies. I would say that his heart rate went way up but he wasn't too hyper. Maybe the inhaled version would be better.

L.,
My youngest son was put on this also.
I don't remember him getting hyper but then when I think on it I think he was younger.

From what I understand albuterol is mostly used for asmatic children. In older children in usually is percriped in an inhaler (I know this because my same child now has the puffer)

I am not big on medication if I can steer away from it.
Something you can try-and maybe it will sound canny, if you don't want to give her the medication and you don't want her hyper you could rub vick vapo rub all over the bottom of her feet and the put socks on her. That should stop her from coughing completely. You may have to reapply a couple times throughout the course but it's always worked.

I am not a dr. but I am a little surprised that they gave you albuterol for a virus cough...
Best wishes to you and hope you find something that works!

S.-michigan
____@____.com

STOP treatment immediately and call your doctor. The nedicine couldbe causing her heart to race. It's unacceptable to diagnose so quickly. Trust your instincts.

Encyclopedia for Health and Natural Healing for Children by M. Weber.

MY son who is six months was put on it too. His cough was bad and had trouble breathing. He is doing great now. It took a few days. I did do the treatment every four hours during the day and then only if he had trouble breathing at night. It ddid make him a little more up for a little bit. Meaning 30 or so minutes not bad and that fact that he was able to breath better made me happy. Just do not give a treatment to close to bed. Good luck it works and mine is doing great and no treatment in a few days.
M.

My 5 yr old has lived with asthma since he was 2 and we learned that there is another medication that can be used in lieu of albuterol, but doctors are hesitant to prescribe it because it is very expensive any many insurance companies don't want to pay for it. HOWEVER....I insisted that albuterol was making my son miserable, shaky, and have heart palipitations. So only then the doctor prescribed XOPONEX. It works exactly the same as albuterol and doesn't have many of the horrible side effects. I was so mad to find out that my son could have had this much better medicine the whole time. UGH! Anyway, now we keep a steady supply of XOPONEX on hand for both the nebulizer here at home and the puffer. It works great! Demand it for your child.

My son was put on the same stuff and I had the same problems with him being hyper, but he could breath so much better. I would try to wait it out.

I would ask about albuterol through a breathing machine. My son used that when he was younger. There were never any side effects like that. It really helped also!

My 20 month old is on that too, and we now are giving it only before 4 pm for the same "speed" reason. He runs himself into a frenzy and freaks out all night...Yes, the cough and the wheezing goes away, but he has the jitters all night!

All I can say is good luck (and when is the cold season over!). I plan to at least finish the doses my boy was prescribed.

My son is asthmatic, though doesn't have any issues with his albuterol.

I will say this though; whenever I don't understand why my sons doctor is drawing the conclusions he is, I ask. If I disagree with him, I tell him so. And then I do what I want to. Here's a good example-Matthew had pneumonia and had a series of chest xrays done. It was viral and there wasn't a whole lot we could do about it. Breathing treatments, but that was it. One day he seems to really be struggling for air, so I call the doctor and he says "take him to the hospital". Okay.

Get to the hospital, a doc in the ER is trying to tell me its croup, give him another breathing treatment. I say thats BS, he has pneumonia, and he says "we'll start IV antibiotics" which at that point I felt like he was trying to shut me up. To which I say, the hell you are, its viral pneumonia and you aren't giving him antibiotics, get me a different doctor.

I got a different doctor, they kept him overnight for observation, rehydrated him, and sent us on our way. I think a lot of people assume doctors know everything and are afraid to challenge their thoughts, but medicine is as much an art as a science. YOU know your child better than anyone. If you aren't comfortable with the meds, stop them. Dimetap works great on coughs, try a small dose of it instead of the albuterol. And I'll add this, when my sons cough is non productive and he has a runny nose, its almost always because his nose is running that he's coughing. Dry up the nose and the cough will stop.

Mom knows best okay, don't ever doubt yourself with your childs health.

My son was on liquid Albuterol at 6 months, as well. They might as well give you baby Ritalin to minimize the side effects! Unfortunately, my son developed RSV a couple of weeks later and had to start a nebulizer. Albuterol in the steam/mist form doesn't have the same side effects as the oral form.

i have four children, and i do have one that has asthma, you could ask the doctor to lower the dose and that should take care of some of the hyperness.

K.

I have a 6 year old that has been going through that since he was 2 years old. Back in November he was on liquid albuterol , nebulizer treatments 4 times a day, and a daily asthma medication. I know how you feel about the diagnosis....you're in there for a few seconds and you leave with all these medications....it's crazy! But they always advise once the cough is gone you can stop the medication. And the condition is always worse in the winter. And yes, we had the same side effects. If you have to give her a dose at night...give it to her at least an hour or two before bedtime...that seemed to work better for us. Good Luck!

My sons have both been put on it at different times. They are oldern now ,4 and 2. I cannot give the 2 year old the dose that is close to his bed time because it makes him hyper. Hope this helps. Yes, it makes my kids nuts!

I wanted to let you know that my daughter has been on allbuteral since she was 8 months old, she is not on it all the time but when she gets bad colds she goes right on it. It does make them more hyper. She is 3 1/2 now so she is a little bit more used to it. She still can be crazy and i do have to watch her when she is on it because she sometimes cannot control herself, she gets frustrated real easy and i have to remember to go with the flow. we also have been on pulimicort which is not as bad of a steroid, what i started doing was chaging the albuterol doses a little bit, because she was so hyper, i would get the liquid that is not pre mixed and i would mix it but at a lower amount, she was still getting the medicine but she just happen to be getting a lower amount. i do have to admit that if really does help the lungs and the ability for them to breath, we have to take the good with the bad, if you have any more questions feel free to email me, ____@____.com good luck and i hope she does not have to stay on it too long.

Hi L..

Sorry for what you're going through. It can be so scary. My son has relatively mild asthma and he can get a little nutty on albuterol, but not too severe. However, I belong to a yhoo group that has a lot of mothers with small children on a lot of meds. These women can probably offer you a lot of experienced advice. The group is
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Families_Dealing_wit...

Hope this helps. M.

I am a mother of 5 I would get a 2nd opinion. There are other meds besides Albutero, like cobavent. I would defntly check with a nother doc
G. W.

Albuterol makes my 4 year old son(his asthma started at 7 months) crazy so he now takes xopenex. I would ask the Dr about the side effects maybe they will try something different. However, I would not stop the medicine altogether because if your daughter is wheezing she really needs it. Wheezing in young babies is scary and should be treated otherwise they could end up in the hospital like my son did when he was 9 months old.
If the Dr says to continue the albuterol you could try some calming activities after she takes it. I would read to my son this always helped. Maybe you could try giving her a bath to help relax her.

6 months old,20 sec. diagnoses, Albuterol? That seems a bit excessive for a 6mo.old. I would ask for a referal to a nose and throat doctor. This would eliminate any structual issues and they deal with resp. problems also. I think she is a bit to young to be giving that to for a virus,(in my opinion). Get that second opinion.

We just had to give our son Albuterol - he's 3 1/2. I agree the effects are crazy, but it has done wonders when nothing else has. My sister's daughter(now 2yrs) has been on it when needed since infancy and she agrees that even though it makes her sooooooo hyper that it really helps and was even suggesting my son needed it weeks before the doctors finally gave it to him. Also, it does seem that over time they do not reacy as drastically to it.

My daughter breaks out in hives from the liquid Albuterol. Her doctor tried to tell me that she shouldn't be having any effects from it. Not true! It got so bad I rushed her to the ER. Take her off of it and talk to another doctor or pharmacist. I am always calling a CVS or Walgreens pharmacy if I have questions about side effects. They may even be able to suggest something different. I use Dimetapp or Robitussin.

Our pedi had Connor on the albuterol for a productive cough also.(At 5 months) We gave it to him before he took his last bottle of the night and he did not have any problem sleeping. We were not able to give it to him as "often" as the suggested doses, but did try to give it to him once during they day, again, when it seemed he was sleepy. As long as we gave it to him before a nap or bedtime he was fine and we did not have "hyper"issues. It cleared up the chest congestion.

Call your doctor with your concerns and tell him how she is reacting to the medicine. If he says everything is fine, then I would think of it as that speed baby is probably better than baby that can't breathe/oxygenate easily.

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