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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.

Alternatives to brown inhaler for 2 yr old

(31 Posts)
SwivelHips Tue 02-Dec-14 20:54:14

DS although not diagnosed with asthma takes brown preventer inhaler in the winter. When he gets infection and it goes on his chest he has blue inhaler, maybe this is pretty common I don't know.
I didn't twig that the brown inhaler was a steroid, but talking to a woman the other day she was talking about alternatives, heat pads, tiger balm etc that she uses. Any thoughts? Tia

TarkaTheOtter Tue 02-Dec-14 20:56:24

Asthma is serious (it's a killer) and you should use the medicine that he has been prescribed because it has proven efficacy.

Sidge Tue 02-Dec-14 20:57:55

You could certainly use alternative methods alongside an inhaled steroid, but I wouldn't stop the brown inhaler without talking to your GP.

Inhaled steroids are very safe to use. Far safer than the potential consequences of untreated asthma, or asthma-like chest problems.

hairylittlegoblin Tue 02-Dec-14 21:02:32

Please please please don't stop using his steroid inhaler. Asthma is an inflammatory condition and the best way to control it is through the use of low dose steroids.

The doses used are low because they target the lungs directly and are very effective. Stopping his inhaler and replacing it with tiger balm could trigger an attack which would require much stronger drugs to control.

If he had diabetes you wouldn't consider swapping his insulin for something else. Please don't do it with asthma.

NoMorepls Tue 02-Dec-14 21:06:47

Why on earth would you put your Childs life at risk , Yes it is a steroid which strengthens the lungs .

My Ds has been on this since he was one and is one of the main reasons he is alive .

trixymalixy Tue 02-Dec-14 21:07:37

DO NOT stop the brown inhaler!! My DS ended up in hospital for over a week after the GP decided to take him off the brown inhaler.

zoemaguire Tue 02-Dec-14 21:10:32

Tiger balm, for asthma?!?! Er, no. Don't play Russian roulette with your child's life! Besides which, if you end up in a and e with a wheezy child, they will give them a course of oral steroids which is orders of magnitude greater than the tiny amount you get in the brown inhaler!

Muchtoomuchtodo Tue 02-Dec-14 21:16:14

Yes, when I asked ds's GP about alternatives to his preventer inhaler because of the steroids, he explained how absolutely tiny the dose is compared to the amount that he would have if he ended up needing a course of oral steroids.

By all means ask your GP if there is an alternative, but don't just stop giving it to him.

agoodbook Tue 02-Dec-14 21:20:37

Don't stop the brown inhaler! My DGS is 2 and has this- one evening he fell asleep at our house just before his bedtime so didn't get his 'puff'. He had been well that day and DD thought he would be fine,( first time it was missed) so didn't wake him up to give it him. He had to be rushed into a&e that night -no more thinking it will be fine here.

crumblebumblebee Wed 03-Dec-14 10:53:55

Complimentary therapies are fine to use but note the term suggests that these therapies should be used alongside conventional medicine.

The dose of inhaled steroids is very small compared to oral, IV or IM steroids.

Poledra Wed 03-Dec-14 11:02:33

It is difficult to diagnose asthma in a 2-yo, as they cannot perform the breathing manoeuvres to obtain a definitive diagnosis. So, although he hasn't been diagnosed with it, he might still have it. I have worked in respiratory medical research, and the doses of steroid received from inhaled medication have not been shown to have adverse effects on children. Indeed, untreated asthma will have far worse effects on a child's health than the doses of steroids they get through an inhaler.

Please don't stop using it - it hasn't been prescribed on a whim, it is important to help keep his lungs healthy.

Sirzy Wed 03-Dec-14 16:20:47

What everyone else has said. Low dose inhaled steroid is much better than the alternative of a poorly child needing high dose oral steroids to treat an attack

MoreSnowPlease Wed 03-Dec-14 16:34:40

I wish ds1 had been prescribed it sooner. He spent a lot of last winter in hospital because of exactly the same issues your son has. He had 6 doses of oral steroids. I didn't realise that the inhaled steroid is a much lower dose so even taking it every day through the winter would be less than ending up in hospital and taking oral ones.

There is an alternative medication called motelukast which you could discuss with your doctor. But really the wheezing is very dangerous and not to be played around with.

SwivelHips Wed 03-Dec-14 20:36:42

Thanks everyone I really appreciate your comments. He has had oral steroids already this winter. I wasn't aware the brown inhaler was so low and no I won't be taking him off it. Thanks

TwelveLeggedWalk Wed 03-Dec-14 20:46:33

On a similar programme here and it's really working for us now (3yo). Think we've dodged a hospital admission this week through carefully using the blue.

Muchtoomuchtodo Wed 03-Dec-14 21:53:48

Do talk to your ds's GP though OP .

They will be able to talk through any alternatives and explain the relative doses of steroid.

AnyFucker Wed 03-Dec-14 21:56:08

The steroid inhaler is a preventer and should not be stopped without a doctor's say-so

Alternative treatments have no hope of replicating it's action. I am glad you have reconsidered

lollipoppi Thu 04-Dec-14 16:53:44

Just to add, Montelukast isn't an alternative as pp said. it's used along side the preventer inhaler

MoreSnowPlease Thu 04-Dec-14 18:15:44

lollipoppi I was given the option of either or

Misty9 Thu 04-Dec-14 21:22:53

I wish ds would be given the brown inhaler but, until he's wheezing after exercise they will only prescribe the Blue one. He's just had a course of oral steroids after the latest severe chest infection, and gets one every few months sad

How did you get them to prescribe the brown one? Does your ds wheeze at times other than infection?

Poledra Thu 04-Dec-14 21:39:56

Misty, does your DS have a peak flow meter? It might be worth keeping a peak flow diary for a month to see what that looks like. If the variation in peak flow between morning and evening is >20%, it can point towards an asthma diagnosis. If you google 'peak flow diurnal variation', it should show you what I mean.

zoemaguire Thu 04-Dec-14 21:57:05

Misty that is bonkers. Dcs never had an official asthma diagnosis, just severe wheezing during repeated severe chest infections, but brown inhalers were absolutely first line of defence. Every time we saw either gp, out of hours or a and e they would check we had sufficient brown inhaler supplies. Can you see a different gp? It really does seem rather odd given our experience across multiple different hcps.

Re montelukast, it was a miracle drug for our ds, who had chronic lung disease, but it did come with bad side effects, notably the development of some quite severe tics. Luckily he outgrew his chest issues and we were able to take him off the montelukast without a problem, but if he hadn't, we'd really have been between a rock and a hard place. It is not a drug to be trifled with, and the risk- benefit calculation has to be considered quite carefully!

agoodbook Thu 04-Dec-14 22:05:05

misty my DGS at 2 has a brown one - you may have seen my pp. He was given one to see if it would help as he was getting infections and roaring temperatures about every 2 weeks for about 4-5 months. He didn't wheeze.The doctor was quite happy to try, and as soon as it was obvious it was really working at prevention, he has an ongoing supply, and spares, along with a blue one for when he has a cough. ( It seems they cannot diagnose asthma as the lungs are not fully developed until age of about 6)

Misty9 Thu 04-Dec-14 22:20:49

We've had repeated a and e, Ooh and different gp visits and they all say the same thing, keep on with the blue one as necessary. It's so frustrating. Luckily ds takes his puffs like a dream now - so different from when we had to hold him down... sad

I've got 7 month old dd in bed with me tonight as she's got an awful cough and is also wheezing...

lollipoppi Thu 04-Dec-14 22:23:01

I'm certain montelukast isn't a preventer.
My DS was on it at one point and he took it alongside his seretide (purple preventer)
Unfortunately he experienced terrible side effects from the montelukast so his consultant took him off it.

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