20 answers

Orapred ODT / Steroid for "Asthma"

My 3 1/2 year old has been coughing non-stop at night. His ped. tried some stuff and nothing worked so we went to see an allergist/specialist in better breathing. He said it's asthma. We started with Singular at night and that did nothing. My son coughs so hard he pukes. Yesterday we went back to the specialist since the Singular didn't work. He prescribes the Orapred ODT. Last night was an improvement for sure, still some coughing but much better. Oh and at 4:30 this morning he was up because he was hungry. I was hesitant to let him eat (for the fear of starting some bad) but I know steroids can increase your appetite. Has anyone ever tried this med. or a steroid for a toddler? I went and did research on the med. and am a little worried about the long term/short term side effects. Oh by the way we just doing this for 4 days. If it works then the dr. wants to switch to a nebulizer with a liquid steroid? I am new to the whole idea of asthma...

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So What Happened?™

We did the 4 days of Orapred and then went to Pulmacourt with the nebulizer. That was hell because it takes up to a week to get into your system. Monday I went back to the dr and told him my son was still up at night coughinghis head off. He put him back on the Orapred for 4 days and the Pulmacourt 2x a day for the next week until it's in his system enough to stop the Orapred. Yesterday was the first day on the Orapred & Pulmacourt and my son still coughed like crazy at night. Last time the Orapred was a God send and we all slept through the night. If tonight doesn't go any better I will be either making a trip the ER (that's how bad the coughing is) or trying to wait it out until morning and we can go back to the dr.. My son has been coughing a lot today so I have no clue. I am getting a little worried that there might be something more going on here than asthma... Should I ask for an XRay of his lungs?? The Orapred worked the first night last time so I don't get why it's not working this time.

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My daughter was no Oraped last week and is on a nebulizer for another week. It greatly improved her cough (her's was from bronchitis). I do not have any complaints or issues, it actually made her less hungry. The only issue has been going to bed at night, but her 2 year moalrs are bothering her too.

There are always so many moms out there asking questions about asthma! When my kids were little, I didn't know one person with asthma. It must be something in the environment NOW causing so much of it. I don't know where you live, but in Grosse Pointe, Michigan there is a great group of chiropractor/clinical nutritionists who tackle and succeed with issues like this WITHOUT all the dangerous steroids etc. Go to www.ahccenter.com Read about them, call and chat...you could find the culprit and be rid of all this! They are incredible!!

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Hi K.,
Both myself and my daughter (5yrs. old) have asthma. The only symptom she showed before she ended up in the hospital (at about 2-3yrs old) w/ a positive diagnosis was some coughing at night. She had to be on oral steroids when she was hospitalized. Yes, steroids will make them hungry, and if they didn't warn you, they can make kids a little crazy. They might act up more than usual, like a little crazy person. My daughter ran around and pulled our dogs ears and did things she normally wouldn't have done. So, try to be VERY patient until you get his asthma under control! ha
I think the oral pred is usually used just until the asthma is under control, and they can be switched to less severe inhaled steroids or other medications that they can take long term. I would recommend getting some books on asthma and reading up so that you are an informed mommy. Don't be afraid to ask the doctor lots of questions and make sure you feel comfortable with your son's treatment. Heavy duty steroid are kind of scary, especially long term.
My daughter and I are fortunately well controlled w/ Singulair, and have albuterol inhalers for as needed, and she has a steroid inhaler that we give her at any signs of an oncoming cold to keep her from ending up in the hospital again.
Good Luck! :)

1 mom found this helpful

We have dealt with asthma, however, I do have friends that have had it or their children. They converted their homes over to natural products (I am connected to a store where I save money, and they are natural products). We have lots of testimonials about people being able to go off their meds.


Allergies and Asthma are one of those things that just seem to run hand in hand. "Breathing Treatments" are just a part of the treatment. Right now you are trying to get things under control.

A very basic definition of Asthma is inflamation and constriction of the airways. Steriods are used to reduce inflamation and swelling and thusly making breathing easier.

Once this asthma is under control, most doctors will suggesting seeing an allergist. It will be important to understand what is causing or triggering the Asthma. I know with my son we didn't have serious Asthma issues until he went to the big boy bed. We discovered that (like me) he has a serious allergy to dust mites.

Yes, steriods are scary and Asthma can be too. Eventually, once you and your doctor determine what his asthma is triggered by you can more effectively treat him and perhaps have far few incidents of resorting to steriodal treatments.
If you have any questions I can answer; you can certainly send me a message.

Sounds to me like your dr. is right on track. I had the same thing with my son when he was 2, we were on steroid breathing treatments for close to 2 years, sometimes with a bronchodilator. Now he hardly ever has an episode, escept for one time he has been wheeze free for3-4 years (he is 9 now). WE really didn't have problems with him, but you are right about the steroids and appetite. He is only on a short-term dose, so the increased appetite won't last for long. Good job mama!

Hello K., All 3 of my kids had asthma, my youngest was the worst. He was on many short term doses of steroids, usually 10-14 days. There are no long term effects from these short term meds. It is when they are on mantanince doses every day that you need to worry. Always use exactly as directed, this is very important. A 4 day dose is very safe. If you ever have questions, feel free to keep in touch. Good luck.

My daughter is 5 and has been on the nebulizer since she was about 6 months. It takes time, it will get better & they will be able to do it themselves - one day. As far as the steroids in the nebulizer you will not have all the side effects - with the nebulizer the steroids go right to the lungs, where they are needed.
I know it is hard just remember you are not the only one going though this out there and it is really hard on your 3 year old.
Good luck.

We have used Orapred this past winter when my now 2 year old had an attack. I'll try to keep this short, though our story is definitely not. After much research and question, I found the benefits of short-term Orapred much out-weigh the potential consequences. His bout with it was short, like yours, and once it releived the extreme issue, we were able to treat him with a much lower dose of steroid. We went to Pulmicort (as needed) as a preventative, and also have Albuterol (as needed) as a rescue. We did not have any of the side effects they claim from any of the meds - no behavior changes, moodiness, irritability etc. He did lose his weight more slowly than my oldest, but never gained. We are new to the asthma world too, and there is so much advice out there that your head will spin, but this is my take... No matter what may have caused the attack, when it happens you need to remedy the reaction NOW, and this is one of the quickest ways. Once you resolve the attack, then you can work with the cause, but once it's started the most important thing is to get them some relief before it becomes even worse. Just my 2 cents. Good luck to you and your little guy... I know it can be frustrating and scary...

i feel your pain. :) my son just turned 3 and was diagnosed with asthma over the winter. he also coughs when having an attack and has vomited on me several times from it! he's been on Pulmicort once a day (2x if he's got a cold), which is a steroid inhaled using a nebulizer. he also uses albuterol for when he has an asthma attack. actually, i have to take him in today to start allergy testing to see if he also has allergy induced asthma. i'm positive he does, just need to find out what it is. anyhow, it's very stressful! i'm assuming the orapred your child uses is in inhaler form? my son also has inhalers we use when we can't use the nebulizer (like in the car, or to carry with me instead of the whole nebulizer machine all the time!)
he has a Flovent HFA inhaler, which is the steroid. the way it was explained to me is that the steroids that are inhaled go directly into their lungs, so they don't go into the bloodstream like giving them a round of prescription oral steriods like prednisolone. the oral steroids do affect my sons appetite and behavior considerably, but he needs to breath so obviously it's something we just have to deal with. the inhaled steroids shouldn't affect his behavior and appetite because they aren't going directly into the bloodstream. i asked that question several times before my son started on it, because the thought of giving a 3yo steriods every day kind of freaked me out! so, your child might just be going through a growth spurt or something. or because he was awake decided he wanted to eat. :)my DS had an Orapred inhaler they gave him once in the ER, it just didn't seem to work that well for him, i would just carry it in my purse for an emergency. my DS just got done with his last round of prednisolone yesterday after another bad attack that wasn't going away. (probably due to an allergy)

anyhow, if your child isn't using a nebulizer, i would ask his doc about it. i find that using the nebulizer with the Pulmicort (1x a day steroid to prevent attacks) and albuterol (for treating an attack) works a ton better than just the inhalers. inhalers are much more convenient, but they last a lot longer in his system than the inhalers seem to. the thing is, it takes about a week to 10 days for it to start working to it's full capacity so both times they started him on it (we tried not giving it to him to see if his condition had improved) we've had to do oral steriods to get him through until the Pulmicort could start working.

have they found out what is causing the asthma attacks? obviously when we find that out i can try to keep him away from whatever is causing it (i'm hoping it's not my cats or dog!)

the only experience i had with asthma before this was my cousin has it and i remember her using 'breathing treatments' (nebulizer) when we were kids we'd have to stop playing and wait for her to do her treatment. i just ask a ton of questions, because i've spent too many nights in the ER with DS over the past year that i want to know what exactly i can do to help him and keep us out of that place!! :)

best wishes!

I have had to deal with children and asthma for 10 and 1/2 years now, my daughter was diagnosed with it at 6 months old. One thing you may or may not know. When a child is having trouble with breathing. And you have it in somewhat control. NO milk or orange juice. It helps produce more phlem (not sure of the spelling). You really don't want to have to continue treatments when it is something that they are consuming. Good Luck

Orapred and a nebulizer with albuterol 2.5mg or 5mg is a very common suggestion. I work in the Peds ER, and allthough I am not a nurse, I know that this is given all the time. When my own 2 year old was sick this winter, he was given orapred and 2.5 mg of albuterol too. The albuterol will make their heart race a little too, so don't panic.
Good Luck with your little one.

My daughter was no Oraped last week and is on a nebulizer for another week. It greatly improved her cough (her's was from bronchitis). I do not have any complaints or issues, it actually made her less hungry. The only issue has been going to bed at night, but her 2 year moalrs are bothering her too.

I highly recommend reading the book "Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Allergies, and Ashtma" by Dr. Kenneth Bock. He advocates a more natural approach to treating these disorders and has had wonderful success (I've witnessed it firsthand with my nephew). The book does an awesome job of explaining in layman's terms what is going on in your child's body and the healing program (which is a combination of diet change and nutirition supplements) is very effective. Believe me, I have never typically been a "natural healing" kind of person but it's amazing to see what this program has done for my nephew. The book also provides real life cases of Dr. Bock's own practice.

I've got this information from a naturapath doctor and in his book, he says... "this is a disease of malabsorption with essential fatty acid deficiencies and deficiencies of manganese and magnesium." You should also include betaine HCl, pancreatic enzymes before each meal. I have more info if you're interested.

L., ____@____.com

I just read this article this morning too, about Vit. D...


Hi K. - I feel your pain. My 2 yr old is going through the same thing, has been since she was about 7 mo old. She too would cough until she puked, ALL the time EVERY night, was a total nightmare. After many doctor appts, and a couple rounds of Orapred...she is now on a "controller" med stronger than Singular (Singular is a little for allergies and a little for asthma). They started her on Pulmicort (breathing treatiment every day) as the controller, then albuterol when she was having more problems. I finally asked for a referral to a peds pulmonary specialist to manager her issues, and got sent to a Pediatric Pulmonary group at U of M (they are great) and they switched her from the breathing treatments (very time consuming) to a inhaler with a spacer. We do 2 puffs before bedtime, works like a charm and is SO much easier on both my daughter and us as parents. She does need her Albuterol inhaler when weather changes or she gets a cold, however, it seems to work and keep her feeling well.

Side note - in the past 6 weeks we've been do the doctor 5 different times with her asthma issues (coughing all night long) and her normal meds weren't helping PLUS the tried her on Zyrtec (for allergies) which didn't help either. At the last appt. a doctor from her primary peds group suggested 1 tsp of honey (I mixed with a little lemon juice) every 4 hrs. I thought she was nuts, but we did it anyway (I figured what the heck, I'll desperate for relief & sleep and you can't overdose on honey) and it worked like a charm. My hubby & I were both amazed after being VERY skeptical.

Good luck, I know it's a rough road, but hopefully the right combination of meds will even him out and he'll get to feeling better soon (and so will you!)
Feel free to e-mail me if you want more info.

Okay, I have two little ones with asthma and we've been through it all. The Orapred will is only for a few days to just get that cough gone and the lungs strong. We have used it in the past as a last resort. No weird side effects here. Also, mine are now on singular daily which has helped ALOT! Mine kids both have alot of allergies though (trees, grass, animals, dust, etc.) so spring is inevitably a rough time. In the winter months they do the pulmicort (liquid steriod in the nebulizer) once a day as a preventative. I take them off of it in the summer, because they just don't need it. I love the pulmicort. My daughter needs, needs, needs it! She has had pneumonia twice and so now, I don't let her go a day without it in the winter. FYI, she can't even get the flu shot, because she is also allergic to eggs. I was also concerned about giving them a steriod everyday and the long/short term effects of it. I voiced my concerns to our allergist and her was very reassuring about it. It is such a tiny mild dose, that it doesn't have alot of the side effects typically associated with steriods (stunt growth, irritability, etc.). Then, when my kids do get a flare up, which they surely will, they are given albuterol in the nebulizer. I know it sounds like a lot of medication, but trust me, it is better than the alternative of them not being able to breathe. And, we tried all of the "home remidies". We have humidifiers in their rooms, got rid of stuffed animals, dust and vaccuum toroughly, hot steam, tea with honey..... The list goes on and on. For my kids, they need the medication. Aren't we lucky we live in an age where these things are available to us. It is too scary when your child is having difficulty breathing. These medications are successful and I would just make sure you voice all your concerns with the allergist. FYI, it takes about 2 weeks for the singulair to actually work. You may want to use it as a preventative after your child has this episode under control. I wish you all the best.


K., in addition to medication there are many things you can do to alleviate your child's asthma. Getting rid of as much dust , dust mites, pet dander (if you have pets), using mattress covers, pillow covers, air cleaners in the bedroom, the list goes on and on. One doctor likened it to a bucket; you want to keep the bucket as empty as you can from allergens; it's when the bucket gets full and overflows that trouble ensues. Asthma is a dangerous condition and you need to read as much as you can about it. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American is a rich source of information.
From experience,
I wish you the best,

There are always so many moms out there asking questions about asthma! When my kids were little, I didn't know one person with asthma. It must be something in the environment NOW causing so much of it. I don't know where you live, but in Grosse Pointe, Michigan there is a great group of chiropractor/clinical nutritionists who tackle and succeed with issues like this WITHOUT all the dangerous steroids etc. Go to www.ahccenter.com Read about them, call and chat...you could find the culprit and be rid of all this! They are incredible!!

How I know to well the questions you must have. Things I found out about some of the steriods that it is dealing with osteoporsis. My daughter has shown to be asthmatic since 14 months old. Her first hospitalization came at age 3 1/2 years old. Then again at 4 years old.

Things I found out...
1) Singulair is not a fast acting treatment but more of a preventative - it will not stop an asthma attack in progress

2) This is also true about some of the steriods in fact they can make it worse.

3) Try to figure out the triggers. It is hard but you do start to notice things when you use hind sight.

4) Do either of you or father have asthma?

Best of advice, stay informed on the medicines available and what type of testing they are willing to do to help find the triggers. Never hestitate questioning why they are wanting or saying to do something or get a second opinion.

In fact we ,my daughter and my just got out of the hospital for her asthma attack.


I have three kids. two of which have asthma. they both use a nebulizer and during bad spells or certain times of year we do use a liquid steroid as well. yes it does help. I also want to mention that one lady on her mentioned milk. And although i have had my doctor disagree with me on on this. However, To much milk seems to provoke extra phlegm. So you may want to limit that closer to the end of the night. I noticed with my youngest if I limited her later in the evening it helped with the night time wheeze. Now as far as being worried. I know some people who over use the nebulizer as well as steroids. Thats where your long term/short term issues come in. Just use it as needed and not use it like its a life support or something. Be smart about it and everything should be fine. My kids have not had any issues from it. My son has been using a nebulizer and steroids on and off for a little over 9 years now. He uses his inhaler before he goes to bed if he is feeling like he will need it now. but to end my point he has had no issues from using it. Good luck with it. Asthma and allergies are a stinky thing.

Hi K. -

My now 19 m/o was prescribed Orapred chewables for a few days after finishing a prescription of Pulmicort back when he was 12 m/o or so after battling a bad cold. We'd been given a nebulizer to keep at home with a supply of Albuterol to use as necessary ever since he was about 9 m/o.

Personally, I didn't like the Orapred because it messed with his behavior so badly. He was a terrible little terror while on the Orapred! I got so frustrated with his behavior that I stopped giving it to him completely. Besides, at that point he was getting over his cold and was breathing better.

I noticed that he would wheeze and cough or seem short of breath sometimes, which is what prompted the use of the nebulizer at home. Both myself and my husband have had trouble with Asthma in the past, but it doesn't hardly bother us at all now.

I've found that keeping the carpet (I hate carpet) well-vacuumed helps, as well as airing out the house for a little while each day. Also, my son sleeps with a cold-mist humidifier at night during the winter and if it happens to be dry at night during the other seasons. That seemed to work WONDERS. These precautions have allowed us to hardly ever use the nebulizer. :)

Unless your child absolutely needs the Orapred, I'd look for another alternative or skip it altogether. But it might not affect your child the way it affected mine, keep that in mind, too. Plus, since you're only using it for a couple of days, it may be worth the possible side effects.

Good luck.

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