May 12, 2009,
K.O. asks from Roseville, MI on May 05, 2009
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...
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.
C.M. answers from Detroit on May 06, 2009
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.
C.M. answers from Detroit on May 06, 2009
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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A.M. answers from Detroit on May 06, 2009
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
S.K. answers from Saginaw on May 06, 2009
H.P. answers from Detroit on May 06, 2009
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.
F.W. answers from Detroit on May 06, 2009
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!
S.M. answers from Saginaw on May 06, 2009
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.
C.Q. answers from Detroit on May 06, 2009
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.
V.K. answers from Saginaw on May 07, 2009
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...
C.C. answers from Grand Rapids on May 06, 2009
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!! :)