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Asthma Treatment in Kids

Children with moderate persistent asthma have symptoms more often than is desirable, and should be on stronger daily "control" medications to try to decrease the frequency and severity of symptoms.

For control (prevention) of symptoms, the following are recommended for older children with moderate persistent asthma:

  • Preferred treatment --¬†low- to medium-dose inhaled steroids and long-acting inhaled beta-2 agonists

  • Alternative treatment -- medium-dose inhaled steroids¬†or low- to medium-dose inhaled steroids and either leukotriene modifiers or theophylline.

NOTE: As soon as symptoms are under control, your doctor will want to try to decrease the medications to the least amount possible to maintain control.

All children with asthma may need occasional "rescue" medications to treat asthma "attacks," occasional periods of asthma symptoms, often triggered by a viral infection (such as the common cold), exposure to an allergen (for example, pets or pollens), or exposure to an irritant (such as cigarette smoke).

For quick relief of symptoms in older children, use a short-acting inhaled (breathed-in) beta-2 agonist first. If the symptoms are severe, or the child has had severe attacks in the past, a short course of steroids given by mouth or directly into the bloodstream may be recommended.

Click below for more information on the treatments recommended above.


Leukotriene modifiers


Short-acting beta-2 agonists

Long-acting beta-2 agonists

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