Viral-Induced Asthma Rescue/Sick Plan (Albuterol)

Updated on November 28, 2013
H.L. asks from Washington, DC
9 answers

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!!

So, my 2.5 year-old gets asthmatic with every cold, which can lead to ER visits and also coughs that can last all fall or winter long. So for daily prevention, we're on Flovent 2 puffs a day (was twice a day for a month and then stepped down to once daily) and Singulair once a day. At the very first sign of a cold, we are supposed to start Albuterol puffs via spacer 4 times a day every 4 hours (not overnight tho). The plan says to do the 4 puffs/4 hours for 5-7 days. The Albuterol definitely helps and the spacer is working well. We have our child inhale each puff for a minute. It's definitely doing its job and we're happy with this treatment plan and are not looking to change to change what and how we administer.

I was wondering how long others with the same issue do Albuterol for. My specific question is: "If you give your child Albuter during a cold, you do it for 5 or more days or do you do it for less?" If you could provide hard numbers, that would be great!

Thanks and happy holiday!!

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answers from Portland on

This is similar to what happened with my granddaughter. After a couple of trips to the ER her allergist prescribed a nebulizer to be used as needed. A nebulizer is easier to use. I don't remember the name of the medication we used with it.

My granddaughter is now 13. She still uses the nebulizer. It's faster acting. And was a good investment.

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answers from Tampa on

Another nebulizer w/albuterol user here. My 2.5 yr old got RSV earlier this spring, and every sniffle seems to turn into bronchiolitis with secondary asthma. She's on the albuterol via nebulizer 4x a day as needed when that happens. She's generally on the nebulizer 4x a day for 2 or 3 days and then we taper off to twice/once a day (usually before bed) for another 3 or 4 days.

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answers from New York on

If I recall, we did it for the recommended five to seven days. My daughter
eventually outgrew it.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

We found Albuterol to have too many side effects for the kiddo's. We use Xophenex for them. The pharmacist told me it's basically the same med but the Xophenex is purer, filtered a lot more. It has a lot less impurities in it so it doesn't cause the shaking and other visual side effects.

I always hated doing a breathing treatment but knowing they'd start coughing up junk and getting it out f their lungs....well, I'd weigh the results against them shaking off the bed in their sleep since I knew they'd be able to breath so much easier.

The Xophenex doesn't do that to them. They just lay there sleeping and I hold the dinosaur face mask really close to their faces so they will breath the med in. They do so much better.

One other thing you should do, I'm not saying this lightly, because it will make your life so much easier. Ask the doc to write you a prescription for a portable nebulizer.

I find the nebulizer so much better for getting more med in their lungs. Instead of using a hand held device with a tube you have a fine mist and it goes deeper and lasts longer.

We got a Pari for the kids, it also has a battery back up. You have to ask for a battery back up so don't forget.

We took the prescription to the local med supply place, this one is where my father in law gets his oxygen. They gave us the Pari right on the spot. It has it's own carrying case that holds the tube and face gear plus a plug for 110 house outlet, a charger/power cord to put in the cigarette lighter, and a battery back up so it can be used out in the wilderness. We're covered no mater where we are.

This is a picture of a nebulizer just like ours.

The first picture is the whole thing. The yellow part is the battery back up. The second picture is the device without the battery pack on it.

Be sure to watch the short video. It shows the lady putting it together and starting a breathing treatment. The med, it comes in a small plastic vial, goes in the part where she lifts the lid then closes it.

This nebulizer shoots the med deep in the lungs because it's just the right power to blow it there. I love using it for my own breathing treatments and it's just like having one at the hospital.

Our grand kids get bronchiolitis. Not plain out bronchitis. But a much more inflamed and stressful type called bronchiolitis. It starts out with just a cough then progresses to get deeper and deeper. Pretty soon they're wheezing and having a dry hacking cough.

This at home nebulizer is a God send because it gets the med where it needs to go, it's super easy to grab and hang off my shoulder with my purse strap, and I can give a breathing treatment at the football game, soccer game, on a hike in the hills, and in the backseat of the car on the way to the ER if they're having too much trouble breathing.

I hope you'll talk to the doc. Our state medical card paid fully for them. Both kids have one because they often go to different places.

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answers from New York on

Both my grandsons have asthma which is made worst when they get a cold. The minute they start showing signs of getting sick my daughter puts them on albuterol (every 4 hrs) and xophenex (every 8 hrs). They usually use a nebulizer because it gets into the lungs better. With the xophenex they have to keep their eyes closed while using it so they get a little bored but at least they don't get that cough that lasts for 3-6 weeks every time they catch a cold.Treatments go anywhere from 5-7 days or until their symptoms go away.

I'm glad they gave you preventative measures to use. Trips to the ER are awful when you have a kid that isn't breathing well. Not to mention the exposure to additional germs while you are waiting.

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answers from San Antonio on

I have done it for four days straight every four hours even over night, then four more days during the day only. But that was when he had RSV (and it was the nebulizer, as his inhaler just didn't seem to work as well).

During a cold it is usually however long the symptoms last three days or seven days. My instructions are every four to six hours. Usually we end up at the doctor's office sometime in there, and I get further instruction.

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answers from Honolulu on

I have had Asthma since I was a child.
So because of that, I ALSO can get, VERY sick due to colds and it directly affects my Asthma. And I even got Pneumonia, which was initially due to just a normal cold, but it got worse.
Being I am older now, I can gauge myself and "how many" puffs or days of inhaler I need.

You want hard numbers... per how many days to use it for.
But I'm sorry, there no one universal number, that will be for everyone. And your child is only 2.5 years old.
With Asthma... is it not matter of 'how many days' of Albuterol. It is a matter, of the degree of seriousness of that individual's Asthma condition.... that will determine how long or how many days, it is to be used. And also, Asthma conditions can get worse, too. And it needs to be evaluated, further it if does or if other secondary cold symptoms/infections develop.

AS long as a person is still suffering from active Asthma symptoms and symptoms are still present, that determines how long you use it for.
For me, I am an adult, and I take my asthma meds whenever I know, I need it, or still need it. And for me, it is NOT only when I have a "cold" that I may need it.

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answers from Boston on

Sounds like my son (and if didn't know better...) Anyways, our pedi also recommended upping the Flovent to 2 puffs twice a day at the first sign of a cold,or anything for that matter, along w/ starting the albuterol until he gets better ...however long that is....

Also, my son's other triggers, besides viral stuff (including the flu) include strep, bronchitis and extreme tempts...occassionally he'll take a puff of albuterol when the weather's extreme; he can really feel it...
On the other hand, the good news, he came off the singulair a month before his 8th b'day and is doing well w/o it ...he's 12 now

Hope this helps and don't be afraid to "bother" your doctor -- that's what they are there for

Have a wonderful holiday

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answers from Norfolk on

Happy Thanksgiving H.:

Have you thought about supplements to improve your child's immune system?

Go to your local health food store and look at the book, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, by Phyllis Balch, CNC.

Look up these ingredients for your 2.5 year old.

Flaxseed oil or primrose oil 300 mg twice daily before meals needed for production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.

Vitamin B5 20 mg three times daily needed for anti-stress vitamin.

Take these together
Quercitin-C from Ecological Formulas 150 mg three times daily and
Bromelain 30 mg three times daily has an antihistaminic effect. Stabilizes cells to stop inflammation.

This is not a prescription.

Go and check out some ways to improve your child's immune system so he doesn't get addicted to the inhalers.

Good luck.

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