Pulmacort and Abuterol Anyone Have a Child on Nebulizer....

Updated on May 07, 2010
K.C. asks from Auburn, NY
24 answers

My 3 1/2 son has viral induced asthma. When he is on the nebulizer he is a completely different child. He crys over everything, super emtional and crazy moody. The doctor didn't seem to flinch when my husband mentioned it or say the med has that effect. I have heard it does. Either way can you do anything to helps this? Has anyone heard of other meds they can take to use in the nebulizer that does not do this? Anyone experiencing this?

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Thank you all so much for your input. We know how important it is to do the meds it has been very hard emotionally to see Finlay have to go through what he does. I am going to share your recos with our specialist. Thanks!

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answers from Detroit on

Those two drugs are the most commonly used for asthma. I was born with asthma and ever since I was child in the early 80's that is what i have usedand i'm 29 now. it gives you an extreme jittery feeling and you get very excitable so his symptoms are normal persay. the only other med that i have taken that helped me and didn't give me those systems is prednozone but that is a steroid and his llittle body may not be ready for that. but even the albuterol inhalers can give you that feeling. Ventolin is not that bad. i've had them all so believe me i am speaking form experience i don't really think you should worry as he gets older he will learn to adjust to the sideeffects and learn to control the outcome of them. Good luck!

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answers from San Francisco on

Both my son and I are on Pulmacort and Albuterol for the nebulizer but have never noticeably been different. But then everyone reacts to medications differently too. Instead of using Pulmacort in the nebulizer, you could always try the inhaler version of it. Or try him on Zyrtec. I was on that for years also to help control things. Good luck to you.

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answers from Atlanta on

My oldest had to do this when he was younger. The doctors told me it may alter his behavior, and luckily it really didn't. How long is he supposed to be on it? Could you possibly just tough it out if it's only for a few days or a week? I've always found my kid's bad moods or bratty behavior to go over MUCH easier with me if I know there's a good reason for it!

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answers from Dallas on

My boys have allergy induced asthma. Albuterol made our boys hyper, emotional and they had nightmares the nights they had a treatment. I tried it myself and I got all wiggy. I mentioned it to our doctor and he gave him something else but I don't remember what it was called - but it worked better. Call the doc back and tell him you want another medication. In the meantime, give your son half of the treatment (that's what I did until I got a different medication).

UPDATE: It was xopenex (thanks to Jane M.).

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answers from Honolulu on

I have asthma. I have had to use nebulizers at times. In severe asthma attacks/episodes.
It can do that... as you mentioned in your son. It causes jitters/hyperness.
Maybe, check the dosage with the Doctor... ask him AGAIN, about your son's side-effects.... they can adjust it... or recommend something else.
That is what I would do....

Asthma is a serious condition... so he does need treatment. But do not forgo it or stop it, because asthma can even be fatal.
Or, take him to the ER and ask for a different med.... but Pulmacort and Albuterol is the typical types prescribed.
BUT there are MANY different types of inhalers.... so ask the Doctor...

Asthma... feels like being suffocated. And if the body cannot breathe properly because of constricted airways... the blood stream will not get adequate oxygen... and this in turn can stress the heart... making things worse. Thus, the inhalers are necessary... to open up the airways and reduce breathing stress etc., right away.

There are fast-acting "rescue" inhalers.... for immediate use/relief... and maintenance inhalers used in tandem with that and steroidal inhalers. Some last for just a short time, and other types last longer. Thus the recommended intervals in the administering of it.
Then the thing is... if you put off treatment of asthma, if the person is in the throes of an attack or episode... you cannot just "wait" around for something to take effect... like alternative treatments. That can be done, but should take place when the person is not in danger of actually being in the midst of an asthma attack or episode.

all the best,

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answers from Boston on

It's likely the albuterol. You can ask for xopenex, which works much the same way without the side effects, but is more expensive, so your insurance might balk. We get it though, and use the albuterol as a last resort (although it does work best at resolving the wheezing). Good luck. All of this is better than oral steroids, I've found <oh, I thought I was going to sell him off... : )>

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answers from Las Vegas on

I did not read all your other posts so please forgive me if I repeat. Both my kids use Albuterol and Pulmacort-not for asthma, but allergy induced episode. When they were younger no problem-now that they are a bit older the Albuterol makes them jump off the walls esp my 3 yr old-so we only use that in the am and the rest we use Xopenex-it is rather expensive, but saves your nerves-LOL! Even the Pediatrician said the albuterol usually makes kids go off the wall. This is just my exp all kids react differently to all things. Hope this helps. L.:)

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answers from Denver on

Hello there,

I had childhood asthma and have a a 19 month old with asthma (he was diganosed at 9 months old) Luckily I live in CO and can take my son to National Jewish. I had heard abuterol can cause mood changes and brought that up to his asthma doctor who suggested that I only use the abuterol when he truly needs it and on a daily basis we use Flovent.

I suggest that if your son's asthma is only being treated by a family physican or peditrican that you see if you can find him a specialist. I've found that you really have to fight for your children and what you think is right.

Heck, I was told by several doctors that asthma couldn't be diagnosed until at least 3 years of age but I was positive that my son had it and kept fighting until I found someone who listened to me.

Good luck, hope things get better for you.

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answers from Sioux Falls on

That stuff has done that to me and my kids. It really wires you! I don't know if you have read my earlier post on this, but I really think you should give it a try.
My daughter had RSV at 2 months, was hospitalized, but never got over it. She struggled to breathe all the time. The pulmonologist put her on the Pulmacort and albuterol nebs. She had to be treated every three hours. He could not understand why she wouldn't get better, her kept increasing the dosages and that caused her to have acid reflux. She was then put on yet another med for that.
I got a new job as an office manager for a chiropractor and vented to him one day how frustrated I was. He told me to bring her in. I was very skeptical as he explained to me about the nerves that control her lungs in her upper spine. I decided, what the heck, and tried it. He saw her 2-3 times a week for a month. By the end of the month, I had taken her off all of her meds! She has never needed them again! She is the healthiest of my 3 children!

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answers from New York on

I had the same experience with Albuterol. Xopenex is SO much better. Problem is, insurance companies dont want to pay for it, its expensive. We had to have our pedi call the insurance company, and now they pay for it.

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answers from New York on

Not sure if my last post actually sent to you. But my now 8 year old had the same issue. See if your allergist could switch to xoponex. it has definately helped my daughter out.



answers from New York on

Get a second opinion. My sister is going through the same thing with my niece and she took her to a pulminologist which in turn changed her meds. She only went a couple days ago so I am not sure how she is doing on the new meds yet, but just a suggestion.

Good luck, I know it's tough :)



answers from New York on

The behavior changes are definitely a huge drawback to all of the asthma meds--I have that with my almost 4 yr old son as well, and we just try to keep him on the meds for as little time as possible.
Do you have him on any preventive medications--such as Flovent? We've had some luck with that.



answers from Albany on

You definitely see a correlation between the behavior and when he is on his meds? Are you sure it isn't just that he isn't feeling great so like a lot of men, he's being particularly sensitive during that time? I know my husband is a baby when he's sick...not calling your son names. Just saying, some males tend to be like that when they are sick.

My two oldest have taken that course of medicine over the years and I have never noticed a change in behavior like that with either of them.



answers from Minneapolis on

Just so you know you aren't alone, all three of my children had to use nebulizers for various reasons. All three were exposed to albuterol at some point as well. My oldest and youngest were extremely hyper, figity, and whinny. My middle child was a completely different story. He would turn very physical, hitting, kicking, slapping. He would be so mean while being treated that we would send our other children off to grandparents, neighbors, wherever so they weren't being mistreated by him. We did share this with his doctor, and we tried the xopenex (sp?). Unfortunately, it didn't work as well for him. So, we would give him his treatments when absolutely necessary, but also prepared ourselves mentally for the "new" child that we would have.
Best of luck as you learn how to best take care of your son!



answers from New York on

With my asthma, I have found that taking the daily inhaler (pulmicort) regularly as directed keeps me from having to use the Ventolin or Albuterol. That should only be used in case of flare ups or asthma attacks. I agree that Albuterol makes me very jittery so I avoid it as much as possible. As a teacher, I've found that students who keep up with the daily maintenance treatments have fewer asthma attacks, so don't need the Albuterol. I am also breastfeeding, so I'm trying to take the minimal doses. My daughter's allergist cited a study in Europe that says taking Zyrtec (I use the store equivalent after the recall) every night has led to lower incidences of children with allergies developing asthma.



answers from New York on

My daughter was hospitalized for a week with asthma and she was given albuterol at the hospital. She was only five at the time and was climbing the walls. When she was released, her allergist and pediatrician prescribed XOPENEX and what a big difference, no reaction. It is expensive but it worth it. The doctor prescribes about 3 months at a time but since she only uses it when she needs it, I ask the pharmacy to only fill one month at a time, in that way I don't have to pay all the copay at once and I don't waste it if it expires too soon.



answers from Rochester on

I agree with most of the posts so far. Our 3 year old has carried her asthma diagnosis since she was 9 months old, and when she was 2 1/2 we couldn't take the albuterol side effects any longer. She uses an inhaler with a spacer now and takes flovent to control her symptoms year round but Xoponex when there is a flare up! This has been a God send!!! She was able to start the inhalers when she was 2...but if it's a really bad time they do make her take the neb in the office but the inhalers are worth asking about...I just told our pediatrician that fighting with my child to sit and take the medicine (esp when it was albuterol and they were already hyped up) just made the asthma symptoms worse!! Good Luck!



answers from New York on

my son gets hyper active when on asthma meds and we switched to Combivent. they also make a liquid for the nebulizer. it is ipratropium bromide and albuterol. and it comes in generic. it might help a bit. good luck.



answers from New York on

Sorry didn't realize everyone else said XOPENEX as well!



answers from Tulsa on

We switched from Albuteral to Xophenex. It has less side effects. It is much more expensive and we could not get it if J didn't have Sooner Care through the state. It is a hard medicine to keep, it expires quickly. Talk to the Pharmasist and see if they say the same, I am not sure of my resource who said this is accurate. I have tried the Zophenex and it feels differently in my lungs and I don't have the shakes at all. J seems to do much better on it. We have a portable nebulizer that I carry with us so I can use it as needed anytime. We also have a house one that I use occassionaly too.



answers from Johnson City on

my youngest had to use albuteral when the seasons changed but never saw any kind of difference with his behavior, he was on a liquid form that he took like regular cold medicine but thru testing it has been brought to my attention by a developmental specialist (my sone is developmentaly delayed) that he is possible adhd



answers from Fort Wayne on

Pulmacort is a steroid, so it's probably agitating him because it can really make kids antsy. Unfortunately, it's something that he really needs though. You could ask if he could be put on an oral steroid, but it may have the same effect.



answers from New York on

The steriod completely messes up the good bacteria so make sure you are giving him probiotic (acidolpholis, it's in yogurt). Also as he gets older you can give him cats claw it is an herb that helps with respiratory health. I linked a site that talks about cats claw. I've also atteched an aticle from University of Maryland and an article I found about a study done with asthma and prebiotics. Good Luck I know it's difficult my son has it as well. I don't give med.s at night and I give him half the dosages the Doctor's suggest and that always seems to be enough for my boy.



In our investigator-initiated prospective study, a total of 170 children with at least two episodes of wheezing and a first degree family history of atopic disease were recruited from our walk-in clinic between October 2002 and October 2004. We chose this relatively long period of time to exclude a seasonal selection bias (e.g., upper airway infections or airborne allergens). 131 eligible children (6 to 24 month old) were randomly assigned to a double-blind dietary supplementation with Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG ATCC 53103 (LGG) twice daily or placebo over six months. A computerized randomization schedule was prepared by a biostatistician with allocation and dispensing of capsules by the distributor of LGG. The capsules were matched for size, shape, and volume of content, which was reconstituted with 5 ml water and then given by spoon. Compliance was monitored by use of a capsule chart (completed by parents) and capsule counts. The parents were asked to keep a diary provided by the study group. Clinical monitoring was done for one year: before the intervention (visit 1), after 3, 6, 9, and 12 months (visit 2 to 5). It encompassed episodes of asthmatic exacerbations defined as cough and wheeze, numbers and days of associated hospitalizations, symptom free days, days without use of rescue medication (steroid suppositoria, a frequently used device in Western Europe), and associated inhalative steroid and beta-agonist use. Children underwent a physical examination including determination of the severity scoring of atopic dermatitis (SCORAD) index to assess eczema severity examination on each study visit to our walk-in clinic. To ensure consistency, the same investigator performed all SCORAD assessments. Atopic eczema was confirmed by characteristical cutaneous findings, pruritus, and chronic relapsing course. This last criterion was fulfilled if the child presented eczema for at least one month on at least one visit. Asthma diagnosis was based on an algorithm from an international paediatric asthma consensus group. Asthma was diagnosed if the child had chronic or recurrent cough, wheeze or shortness of breath, or both, and if other diagnosis were excluded and trial antiasthmatic treatment was effective. Blood samples were taken on visit 1, 3, and 5. Sensitization to common dietary and respiratory allergen was measured by total and antigen specific IgE assays against hen’s egg, cat epithelia, house dust mite (D1+2), birch pollen, milk protein, lactalbumin, timothy pollen, horse epithelia and alternaria by chemiluminescence-immunoassay. This highly-sensitive assay is suitable especially for the determination of low value of specific IgE. Additionally, eosinophilic cationic protein and eosinophils were determined.

Primary outcome measures were the asthma-related clinical events. Secondary measures were the serum concentrations of IgE, specific IgE, ECP, Eos, IL-2 soluble receptor alpha (IL-2Rα, to reflect T-cell related inflammatory state) and transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ, a profibrotic factor whose expression is increased in asthmatics, indicating airway remodeling. All parents supplied written informed consent prior to the study. Human experimentation guidelines of Good Clinical Practice, the German Drug Act and the declaration of Helsinki / Hong Kong were followed in the conduct of clinical research.


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