Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Cough cough cough that has lasted years in both children

(42 Posts)
VanellopeVonSchweetz Tue 12-Feb-13 07:40:04

Both ds and dd have had a cough that has lasted for years, it seems slightly worse in winter. It's the same cough in both children. It doesn't produce anything and wakes them and the rest of us up every night. Tried all the usual propping up, olbas oil, vicks (and on feet) , chopped onions on radiator, well ventilated room. GP prescribed us Betamethasone nasal drops and after a week that hasn't worked either. Booked in to see a Paediatrician but its a month away and I can't bear another month of no sleep. Any crazy / normal ideas welcome.

purplerainbow Tue 12-Feb-13 07:42:57

Have they not mentioned asthma? My 2 both have asthma, alwyas worse in winter and always worse at night. Now they are both on steroids and it is well controlled.

VanellopeVonSchweetz Tue 12-Feb-13 07:50:39

Thanks, Yes GP did offer an asthma inhaler but I was worried it might not be good for them. I forgot to mention DH had same cough as child but isn't now asthmatic. I was hoping there'd be another way to go with it.

BeaWheesht Tue 12-Feb-13 07:52:31

Night time coughing is very indicative of asthma. An inhaler would be very very likely to help.

Sirzy Tue 12-Feb-13 07:54:46

Why wouldn't it be good for them to have something which would help?

Flisspaps Tue 12-Feb-13 08:00:15

You were worried an inhaler might be bad for them, but have left them with possible asthma and a bowl of chopped onions (which have been found to have no beneficial effect or to magically "soak up' bacteria/viruses/germs) in their room?!

Am I reading that right?

Go back to the GP, see if the inhaler helps. My 9mo DS was prescribed one last week to help with his croup, I didn't think it might be bad, I thought 'great, that'll make it easier for him to breathe'!

Since then he's slept through 3 times (never before!)

VanellopeVonSchweetz Tue 12-Feb-13 08:00:24

Thanks, Yes, I get what you mean but it's a steroid isn't it. Couldn't it bring on a dependance to it. The GP seemed to rather flippantly hand it out rather than any test being done (not that I know what the tests would be).

MonaLotte Tue 12-Feb-13 08:01:50

As an asthma sufferer I really think you should get this checked out. It does sound like asthma a IMO. Especially the night coughing. Please take the inhalers if they have been prescribed. If it isn't asthma they wk t to any harm and at least you can rule it out. If it is asthma and it goes untreated it could end up in them having an asthma attack which is something you do not want them to to through.
Why do you think inhalers might not be good for them?

MonaLotte Tue 12-Feb-13 08:02:39

Won't do not wk t to!

VanellopeVonSchweetz Tue 12-Feb-13 08:02:44

Oh and yes I'd try any natural cure first over a steroid. Believe it or not the onions worked for two nights then not at all. Maybe a freakish coincidence I know it sounds crazy.

Sirzy Tue 12-Feb-13 08:04:21

Perhaps before dismissing sensible solutions in place of onions things you should have done some research or even asked the GP?

Initially they would likely be prescribed ventolin which isn't steroid based and is used to open the airways immediatly.

They may later be prescribed a preventative inhaler which is steroid based but the normal dose is quite low and the steroids are inhaled so very little enters the blood stream

MonaLotte Tue 12-Feb-13 08:04:29

It's not the same steroid as say an athlete would take. Also if its ventolin/ salbutamol (a blue inhaler) there are no steroids in it.

MonaLotte Tue 12-Feb-13 08:05:22

What sirzy said ^^

Bumply Tue 12-Feb-13 08:06:15

Q: What are steroids?
A: Some athletes misuse anabolic steroids to build muscle. Corticosteroids are the steroids used to treat asthma. Corticosteroids do not build muscle or enhance performance. Corticosteroids are hormones that you body naturally produces. When your doctor prescribes an inhaled corticosteroid, he is giving a very small amount of this same hormone, to reduce the inflammation in the airways.

Flisspaps Tue 12-Feb-13 08:06:26

So not at all then - just two nights without coughing is coincidental.

Asthma can be a killer. That's not being dramatic, that's a fact. Why would you not want to get your DC something proven to help? Something fast-acting? Something that might actually give then a decent nights sleep?

I'm all for a natural approach, but sometimes prescribed medication is the best thing.

MonaLotte Tue 12-Feb-13 08:07:48

I have had asthma since I was two. I have been taking steroid inhalers for nearly 30 years and am fine. I realise I'm just one person. But my asthma has always been bad (if not controlled) and without inhalers I don't know if I'd be here today.

Pascha Tue 12-Feb-13 08:10:12

Are you confusing inhaled steroids for asthma with anabolic steroids used by sportspeople? Although they belong to the same family of drugs they are worlds apart from each other.

Inhaled steroids mean the difference between not quite being able to breathe comfortably at night resulting in a cough, and free easy breathing making for a good nights sleep and happier healthier children. Struggling to breathe is horrible. If simple common medicine can make that better surely it's worth it?

VanellopeVonSchweetz Tue 12-Feb-13 08:33:35

Thanks for the schooling, I'll give the inhaler a try. I'll let you know how I get on in the morning.

butterfingerz Tue 12-Feb-13 11:48:46

Inhaled steroids as treatment for asthma is one of the oldest, safest and most effective modern medicines, they have been used for decades on thousands of asthmatics with little known ill effects. If your doctor has prescribed a brown inhaler, the steroid, then yes he will have been happy to dish it out because of its longstanding history of being safe and effective against asthma. The reason your gp may think its asthma is because virus and bacterial infections that cause coughs are productive and do not last years.

Your dh may have been an asthmatic child that simply grew out of it, my sister was severely asthmatic until the age of 6 but grew out of it, lucky for them. But giving your dc a steroid inhaler while they are suffering with asthmatic symptoms can prevent long term damage to the small airways caused by untreated inflammation, and help their lungs grow into normal functioning ones.

If you decide to go ahead with the steroid inhaler, you need to be consistent and give it at the correct dose at the allocated times, every day. It'll take a while to have an effect, weeks even to build up in the system and reduce inflammation. You will not know overnight whether its worked.

Also, there are lots of natural, not chopped onion woo, remedies that help asthma. But I think you should go back to your gp and give conventional medicine a chance first. Your gp can also refer you to an asthma nurse who will advise you on triggers and suchlike.

VanellopeVonSchweetz Tue 12-Feb-13 19:59:15

Thanks, couldn't get appointment today so will see GP in the morning.

amillionyears Wed 13-Feb-13 21:31:03

Have you taken them both to see the GP now?

VanellopeVonSchweetz Sun 17-Feb-13 21:51:14

I'm now five days on after giving on the advice of GP Salbutamol via inhaler and Allerief containing Chlorphenamine via oral liquid medicine to both children. They are both still coughing all be it slightly less than before, during day and at night. I changed both of their pillows to anti allergy featherless type just in case. Still baffled as to why this is still going on. Any ideas why ?

amillionyears Sun 17-Feb-13 21:56:40

Glad you came back.
I had been hoping that the children were taken to the GP.

How long and how often did the GP say they were to have the Salbutamol and medicine for?

Also, have you seen the thread today all about asthma.
I have been hoping you may have seen it.

VanellopeVonSchweetz Sun 17-Feb-13 22:00:32

Thanks for your reply. GP suggested 3 times a day for both inhaler and medicine and just to continue until seeing a nurse in a week or so.

chocolatespiders Sun 17-Feb-13 22:01:17

Is the salbutamol one the one that the effects only last an hour. You may need a brown inhaler which the effects last longer from,

VanellopeVonSchweetz Sun 17-Feb-13 22:01:34

Oh and I meant to say how do i get to that link you suggested ?

VanellopeVonSchweetz Sun 17-Feb-13 22:03:44

I didn't know it would only last an hour, though it doesn't relieve the cough within that first hour after taking.

amillionyears Sun 17-Feb-13 22:18:43
amillionyears Sun 17-Feb-13 22:19:31

The thread may not have everything you are looking for, but it does go into quite a lot of aspects of asthma, as it has been running all day!

amillionyears Sun 17-Feb-13 22:21:19

The salbutamol, [from what I can remember, as the children concerned no longer live permanently at home], lasts for up to 4 hours. And starts to work after the first hour.

Are there instructions in a leaflet in the box?

amillionyears Sun 17-Feb-13 22:25:08

You say that they are going to see the nurse in a week.
She should give you more information then.

It sounds like your children may have had untreated asthma for a long time.So it may take a long time to get their asthma under control.
They may need more puffers, or different puffers etc.

Salbutamol, again as far as i can remember is the lightest dose one.
The nurse will presumably ask you if it has made any difference, or how much of a difference.

chocolatespiders Sun 17-Feb-13 22:31:25

If it a blue reliever inhaler the effects are very short term and the brown preventer inhalers are the ones that the effects last 12 hours so you take morning and night. This is all I can remember from the Asthma clinic. Most people would not take the blue one regularly at set times as it is used as a reliever for as and when relief is needed.

Whojamaflip Sun 17-Feb-13 22:38:27

My ds has inhalers for asthma - his is affected by changes in temperature (ie going inside from out) and certain foods - by far the worst is the artificial sugars and the cough can take nearly a week to get back under control using both the brown and the blue inhalers.

It can take some time for the inflammation to be brought under control...

VanellopeVonSchweetz Mon 18-Feb-13 01:39:14

Once again the cough is here again in both children, just a few hours in to the nights sleep. Even after giving the inhaler its cough cough cough, cough cough cough. Ds cough probably worse tonight than before I started this course of medication. Is this really Asthma ?

VanellopeVonSchweetz Mon 18-Feb-13 01:50:19

Thanks for all these bits of input.

Sirzy Mon 18-Feb-13 03:56:22

Are you using a spacer? Have you been shown how to use the inhaler correctly? How many puffs do you give at a time?

chocolatespiders Mon 18-Feb-13 07:45:51

You could see if there is an Asthma nurse based at your GP surgery they are normally very very good and informative. Think I learn something new everytime we go smile

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 18-Feb-13 07:50:23

I really think your children have asthma.

If the blue inhaler isn't helping for more than a few hours, then they probably need a brown steroid inhaler to use all the time which will keep the inflammation under control.

I am pretty horrified actually that you didn't let them have the inhalers when they were first prescribed. Asthma is a serious illness and you have potentially put your children's lives at risk.

Do they struggle at school, always tired, poor concentration, bad behaviour?

VanellopeVonSchweetz Mon 18-Feb-13 08:44:33

I appreciate your concern but they are very healthy children other than this cough. In fact they are top of the class in everything you suggest they might struggle in. Even the GP didn't prescribe an inhaler the second time around, she prescribed Betamethasone to help stop swelling. I'll be seeing the nurse soon and paediatrician next month. I still think there's an allergy here I haven't sussed out yet. DS cough was worse last night than it was when the inhaler started, to me that doesn't make sense.

amillionyears Mon 18-Feb-13 08:46:22

What times of day are you giving the inhalers?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 18-Feb-13 08:49:08

Sometimes the cough will get worse, because the inhaler loosens the chest.

What is it with parents and a refusal to believe their kids have asthma this week!

Sirzy Mon 18-Feb-13 08:49:31

If you have been given that then no wonder it's not working yet, that takes up to 6 weeks be fully effective. Have you not been given ventolin?

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