Thursday, November 28, 2013

Asthma Medications For Children

Asthma is a respiratory condition in which airways become inflamed, causing wheezing, coughing and tightness of the chest. Severe asthma attacks cause shortness of breath, breathing difficulties and low blood-oxygen levels. In the United States, asthma is the most common chronic condition in children, and the third-most-common cause of hospitalizations in children younger than 15. Asthma has no cure, but several prescriptions are available to help prevent the onset of asthma attacks and ease the symptoms of an acute asthma attack.

Inhaled Bronchodilator

Inhaled bronchodilators help open airways constricted by asthma. They are available for use with a nebulizer or with a measured-dose inhaler. When used as prescribed, inhaled bronchodilators have very few serious side effects.

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Anti-inflammatory medications---the most commonly prescribed of which are inhaled corticosteroids---are often given as a daily maintenance medication for children with severe or persistent asthma. These medications reduce airway inflammation, prevent blood vessel leakage and block allergic reactions.

Leukotriene Modifiers

Leukotriene-modifier medications block leukotrienes, which can cause asthma symptoms. These medications are often recommended as a daily-maintenance medication to help prevent asthma attacks. Many children take leukotriene modifiers in conjunction with an inhaled corticosteroid.

Rescue Medications

Asthma drugs prescribed to relieve symptoms associated with an asthma attack are sometimes called "rescue inhalers." These medication are fast-acting bronchodilators that help open airways. Children with exercise-induced asthma often are prescribed a rescue medication, but they shouldn't be used daily. Daily attacks indicate that a child's asthma isn't under control.

Combination Medications

Some asthma medications on the market today combine a bronchodilator and corticosteroid. The benefit of combination medications is only having to take one daily medication rather than two.

Oral Corticosteroids

Oral corticosteroids are typically given to treat asthma attacks, rather than being used to help prevent them. Oral corticosteroids shouldn't be taken for long periods of time.

Tags: asthma attacks, help prevent, asthma attack, help open, help open airways, open airways, Oral corticosteroids