How Long Will My Child Need Daily Medicines For Asthma?

Dr. Stanley Szefler answers the question: 'Can Kids With Asthma Stop Daily Meds?

ByABC News
May 15, 2008, 1:24 PM

— -- Question: How long will my child need daily medicines for asthma?

Answer: The goal of treatment for asthma is to achieve good control. Good control is defined by the child's ability to maintain normal activity, to have minimal or no symptoms, to have near-normal or normal pulmonary function, to have no asthma exacerbations and also to have no adverse effects from medicines.

The physician will routinely look at the child's medication regimen and how well they're doing. And if the child's doing very well for a period of three months, the physician may decide to reduce the medicine, or potentially even discontinue the medicine. And then the child should be monitored whether or not symptoms recur.

It should be kept in mind that all children that have asthma should carry a rescue bronchodilator metered-dose inhaler. And the reason for that is that, if in case they do have symptoms, they can take that medicine to relieve the symptoms.

Oftentimes, a physician will decide to discontinue medicines, and that often may occur during the summertime when the child may be doing better.

It's recommended that, if the child has a history of doing worse when they restart school, that the parent schedule an appointment with a physician to review medications just before school starts. In that way, if the child does have a history of getting worse when school starts, medications can be started to prevent asthma exacerbations, and that way the school year will go much more smooth.

Next: How Old Should My Child Be Before I Allow Him/Her To Be Responsible For Taking Medicines?

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