Excessive Coughing After Using a Albuterol/nebulizer

Updated on February 27, 2010
N.M. asks from Vero Beach, FL
18 answers

My 4 month old is recieving albuterol through a nebulizer and so is my 2 yr old.My little one is coughing really bad after using it and her heart is beating really fast .Its scary! Is this normal? im scared to go to sleep bcuz she kepps coughing ....my 2yr old isnt having a problem with it,im beginning to think that albuterol may be too strong for infants that young ...any thoughts????

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So What Happened?

thanx for the answers im new to mamapedia and new to forum type stuff like this ..so im confused on how to resond back to my answers u all gave me,i hope i did it right.she isnt coughing so much now and i dont think i will give her the treatment before bed agian..they arent asmatic so hopefully i wont have to give this to them again .i am on medicaid so the alternative drug is outta the question.

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answers from Orlando on

I know I'm late to post, but I wanted to say that Albuterol is NOT a steroid. However, it WILL increase heart rate. When my daughter was hospitalized, she was given albuterol treatements had such severe tachycardia that they had to change her to Xopenex. She was running a fever and that combined with the medication made her little heart beat so incredibly fast.

Anyway, it's normal, but talk to the doctor about changing dose or trying another drug. Xoponex was covered by Staywell, if you happen to have Florida Medicaid.



answers from Orlando on

I gave my youngest albuterol when she was just 3 months old for a bad cough and congestion. What does the doc say about it? Maybe bronchitis or something else. I would page the doc right away!

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answers from Los Angeles on

it will raise the heart beat. albuterol is an upper. the albuterol is only relaxing the air way so your baby can cough easier. it will help the cough but not get rid of it totally. if your baby continues to cough and cough for a week after starting the albuterol i would take her back and ask about a 5 day steriod to clear her up. my daughter was diagnosed with asthma at 10 months. are your kids asthmatic? my daughter takes a prevenative medication (pulmicort) via nebulizer. also she takes albuterol when she is sick or her allergies are raging.

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answers from Miami on

I would look into natural healing. It works better and is not toxic like those drugs. Check out NAET.com and find a practitioner in your area to clear your kids of their food and environmental allergies. They have blockages that is causing their energy not to move. Those type of drugs have heavy metals and you risk damaging their developing brains forever. You may not see any problems until they go to school. You are right...it's VERY SCARY~but find out what they are allergic/sensitive to and eliminate the allergen with NAET permanantly.



answers from Boca Raton on

believe it is way too strong! It does cause tachycardia (rapid heart beat) as well. I would suggest that you get her a chiropractic adjustment to release any nerve interference between the brain and the lungs.



answers from Detroit on

I am an asthmatic and I have an albuterol inhaler. I was wondering this was prescribed for your infant?? That is suprising because albuterol is a steroid and the reason her heart beats fast is because it is known to speed the heart. As an adult I have to be careful not to overtake it , if abused in anyway u can go into cardiac arrest. call and talk to medicaid and let them know that she needed a medicine and let them know ur worries about the current med. good luck



answers from Jacksonville on

This happens to me too when I use albuterol in my nebulizer and inhaler. My doctor put me on Xopenex and I've found that it doesn't cause the coughing or the racing heart beat. You may want to discuss it with your pediatrician. I also found this that may be helpful: http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/conditions/a/asthma_kids.htm



answers from Boston on

There is an alternative to Albuterol called Xopenex which doesn't have the same side effects (Albuterol makes you feel cold and jittery and excited. Not so good at bedtime!) However Xopenex is expensive and potentially not covered by your insurance. Find out if your plan would cover it or not and ask your doctor if it might be substituted.



answers from Miami on

I cannot fathom a doctor prescribing albuterol for an infant. She's obviously having a negative reaction to it and must have a dry throat after treatments...
At least give some water to sooth the throat. Honey is great but not for babies.



answers from Charlotte on

oh goodness. I have to suggest contacting your pediatrician on call if that happens again. that does not sound typical as a side effect. I hope you find your answer. Good luck.


answers from Chicago on

If the little one starts coughing again, use this trick the in-patient hospital nurses taught me. Use a pillow (flatter one) and place it between the frame and mattress of the crib (lifts one end), then take a thick towel and roll it like a snake, shape it as a U and put it in the middle of the crib with the U part downhill, place baby's butt in the bottom of the U so she doesn't slide (with legs over the bottom hump of the U) -- worked like a CHARM with my kiddo when he was 5 months! Helps everything to drain down rather than lie in the chest (also avoided ear infections after colds this way so things don't pool in the head)...after they get too mobile in the crib, can't do it :) Albuterol is like baby speed- do not do close to nap or bed time and expect some heart racing, irritability, etc.

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answers from Tampa on

A late response, but I am a pharmacist... I was wondering what dose your baby is getting, whether is might be too high for her. It should be based on her weight, you can ask your pharmacist if it is appropriate. The rapid heartbeat is a side effect, but it usually gets better as your body gets used to it. And, as one poster already said, it is not a steroid, although they will use those as well in children.
It is used quite frequently in children that young, so it is safe... just check the dose, or talk with your doctor about the side effects and he may recommend using less...



answers from Orlando on

I would still check and see if the doctor can get the alternative medicine approved for use. I had private insurance, but it only covered albuterol. When the doctor told them it made my babies heart race and she needed something else, they finally covered it. It's worth a try. Good luck.



answers from Boca Raton on

My son has been on breathing treatments since about 1 yr old and Xopenex is absolutely easier on their little bodies than albuterol. As far as the coughing, the Xopenex/Albuterol is opening their air way which does cause them to cough. I would suggest you talk to your Pediatrician and tell him about the side effects and ask him to try the Xopenex.
I hope your little ones feel better soon. I'm not sure how long you've been dealing with breathing treatments with your 2yr old but this is a process....




answers from Dallas on

I know that it did make my heart as a child. I also know that it does loosen the mucus up so coughing is a bit normal... 4 mos DOES seem young, but I am no doctor. Theres my 2 cents...


answers from Orlando on

My now 12 month old daugher has been on abuterol through the nebulizer for the last 3 months, before that she was taking albuterol orally for about 3 weeks. She has had a terrible cough since she was about 6 months old. For the last 2 months she has been on the albuterol followed by palmacourt (sp?) which is a steroid (albuterol is not a steroid) the albuterol helps to open up the airways and then the palmacourt goes in and hopefully reduces all the inflamiation and all the coughing. So far it hasn't helped us to much but we are going to stick with it a little while longer. She was also diagnosed with reflux a little over a month ago (I have been asking about it for months and months, thanks for finally listening to mom) and they put her on pretnizone (sp?) in the mornings and that seemed to help a lot! We just finished the 30 days of that so hopefully we will see some improvement, I hate having such a tiny little girl on so many medications.

We didn't start my daughter on all this until she was about 8 months but she is still about the size of a 6 month old (even at a year!), if you have any concerns get right back to that doctor and find something you are comfortable with!



answers from Gainesville on

My 4 yr old daughter just started the albuterol as well, it seemed to work good and the cough went away for like 4 days, then it came back. They put her on a liquid steriod for a week to get rid of the inflammtion in the chest, and a steriod spray, nasonex, for the inflammation in her nose. And they also put her on a little kid inhaler. Of course we have the cold mist humidifier in her room every night. I am only suppose to use the albuterol when she is bad coughing, and I havent had to use it in 5 days, which I am so excited about. I am using the little kid inhaler once in morning and once at night, and the humidifier, and her daily dose of singular. All this came allergy stuff came up last yr, and until 2 weeks ago with the possibility of asthma. But...like I said for 5 days and has been good. But...one mom who does the homeopathic a lot told me about vinegar and how it helps with coughing. So one night, about a week and a half ago she was coughing and it was driving me crazy so I said what the heck 1/2 teaspoon cant hurt her, so I had her take it and its nasty but I immediatly gave her juice, and I tell you what...she slept all night not a single cough again that night. The next night no coughing. Then the next night I did have to give her another 1/2 teaspoon, but again it immediately stopped the coughing. And that was last friday and so its almost been a week since then and I havent had to give her the apple cider vineager again but I would if I needed too. I figure its no worse than vinegar on a salad or sandwich. I am not sure if this will help with your kids being so much younger, but maybe can give you ideas or something. If nothing else talk to the dr about her heart racing after the treatments.



answers from Ocala on

My children have to use the nebulizer as well...albuterol will make a child cough more than what they were doing before they used it. albuterol breaks up what is in their chest so they can cough it up more easily....its a steroid so it will cause their little hearts to beat really fast...my advice to you is to call your pediatrician and ask for xopenex..it works the same as albuterol, but has less side effects.
best of luck and let us know what happened....

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