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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.

DD with asthma has constant, relentless cough

(15 Posts)
marzipanmaggie Fri 26-Feb-16 13:57:53

Hi, I have a 5 y-o DD who has recently been diagnosed with asthma. She has been hospitalised three times with it and its scary and awful, as anyone with an asthmatic child will know.

But the thing that's really driving me to the brink of madness is that for the past week she has a constant cough. And I mean almost every waking second she is coughing. Have had about four hours sleep in the past three nights as a result. She is awake, she is coughing. I have had literally no respite from it and am trying to work from home. I am close to having a meltdown and it occasionally makes me angry with her as well which I know is unforgivable.

I have asked numerous GPs about it and they have all said you can treat the asthma but not the cough. I've had all the usual suggestions; steam, sitting upright etc. Cough medicine has no effect whatsoever. Calpol doesn't work. Salbutomol takes the edge off for a couple of hours and stops it escalating but doesn't stop the cough.

Can anyone tell me a) is this normal for asthmatics to have really shockingly bad coughts? (I'm talking about the cough, not the wheeze or breathlessness) and b) is there anything (other than the above suggestions, none of which work) which I can try? I am going out of my wits.

Wolfiefan Fri 26-Feb-16 13:59:26

Asthmatics don't always wheeze. The cough is a sign the asthma isn't properly under control. Ask to see a specialist?

AlmaMartyr Fri 26-Feb-16 14:01:33

I'm not very knowledgeable at all but I have cough variant asthma, so I don't wheeze or get breathless but I cough a lot. Often very badly. My daily inhaler (Seretide) helps minimise it and I use Ventolin when needed. So not a suggestion really so much as something you could look at. Sympathies though, it must be very difficult and it is very hard to stop coughing.

marzipanmaggie Fri 26-Feb-16 14:11:58

wolfie -- she has been to asthma clinics, both at the GP and at the hospital, and their focus is always on stopping it escalating and preventing wheeze, and in general the medicines she's on (salbutomol and clenil) are effective in that they have generally kept her out of hospital.

I wasn't aware that coughing was a sign that the asthma was poorly managed -- and I haven't been offered seretide yet. Are there medicines which deal with the cough?

hippospot Fri 26-Feb-16 14:14:30

Maybe her dose of Clenil needs reviewing.

My son hardly needs his Salbutamol now that he's taking Clenil. We were lucky with your asthma nurse. Perhaps you need a second opinion?

Good luck

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Fri 26-Feb-16 14:17:46

Cough variant asthma is quite common, if her cough is persistent I would get her reviewed she sounds like she needs to increase the doses of her preventer medication.

The nurses on the Asthma UK helpline are brilliant 0300 222 5800 and their website has a useful forum.

Wolfiefan Fri 26-Feb-16 14:18:42

Do you do regular peak flow tests?

Sometimesithinkimbonkers Fri 26-Feb-16 14:20:26

I agree with hippo her Clenil needs reviewing!!!!

marzipanmaggie Fri 26-Feb-16 14:23:19

hellhathnofury thanks -- I will get her reviewed.
hippo this is what's weird -- the Clenil worked like a dream for about two years and I use it religiously, she's had multiple colds this year, none of which have escalated, but the last cold she had sent her to A&E and since then into this terrible cough. I haven't changed anything in terms of her medication so I don't really know why she has suddenly responded like this again.
Wolfie She has had two peak flow tests -- only recently been diagnosed -- and they have been within normal range. She doesn't get wheezy or breathless when she's exercising or anything like that. The only trigger is colds.

Wolfiefan Fri 26-Feb-16 14:40:55

I have a peak flow meter at home. It'd be good to get one and test much more frequently.
She doesn't have to wheeze. I often just cough when my asthma is playing up.

marzipanmaggie Fri 26-Feb-16 14:54:53

It's often not the wheeze that bothers me, to be honest, its the cough. It's just absolutely all-consuming and it makes it impossible for me or DD to get any sleep for nights on end which has obvious impacts on our health, happiness and productivity. And its awful to hear.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Fri 26-Feb-16 19:45:59

Monitoring her peak flow daily will help give you an insight into when she needs her preventer medications increasing so it might be worth asking for a peakflow monitor and a book to track it in. It's hellish isn't it? My dd is 26 now and has been asthmatic since she was tiny, her asthma always presents as coughing and seldom as a wheeze so I know how all consuming the cough can be for all involved.

kippersyllabub Fri 26-Feb-16 19:49:31

Do you have an asthma nurse at your local practice? You could ask for an appt to review your DD's medication as the preventer dose may need increasing.

LaContessaDiPlump Fri 26-Feb-16 19:52:54

She desperately needs to be reassessed op. Here is a link to the GINA website and the pocket guide to managing paediatric asthma - I'd read up so you can quote chapter and verse at the GP.

ChalkHearts Fri 26-Feb-16 19:56:23

Also check out the buteyko method to help her asthma.

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