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Colds, asthma, and brown inhalers

(9 Posts)
PrettyCandles Sat 11-Jun-11 21:50:19

Dd has very mild asthma. She used to use the brown inhaler but hasn't needed it regularly for a year or more. She has never needed the blue inhaler.

When she gets a cold her asthma symptoms come back and she needs the brown inhaler for a few weeks.

So my question is: when a cold is doing the rounds at home should I start giving her the brown inhaler immediately, and not wait for her to develop symptoms?

RubberDuck Sat 11-Jun-11 21:51:27

I would, yes - it takes up to 2 weeks for the brown inhaler to kick in, so any advanced warning you get is good.

delusionsofadequacy Sun 12-Jun-11 13:46:19

How old is your DD? Just that is unusual to use a brown (steroid) inhaler without any need for the blue (reliever) inhaler. The BTS guidelines say that the first step in chronic asthma in children over five would be to use the blue inhaler and only add in the brown inhaler if she is needing the blue one daily. www.brit-thoracic.org.uk/Portals/0/Clinical%20Information/Asthma/Guidelines/qrg101%202011.pdf (page ten) Although if your GP has given you different info then ignore me. Personally I would be tempted to use the blue to manage the increased symptoms, but again you know your daughters condition best.

PrettyCandles Sun 12-Jun-11 16:24:20

She's 8.5 now, and was first prescribed the brown inhaler aged 4 or 5. She was only prescribed the blue inhaler about two years ago, when I saw a different GP for her medicines review.

I have had a lot of conflicting info refarding the inhalers from drs involved in her care (dd has had other health issues, some still ongoing). But I've never been told to use the blue in preference to the brown. It has always been brown regularly, blue if she has an attack. OTOH, other children we know, who have developed similar symptoms, were given the blue inhaler only.

EustaciaVye Sun 12-Jun-11 21:29:27

I use my brown inhaler from about October to April as my asthma is triggered by viruses. Also in Summer if I know thereis a bad cold around.

I do the same as Eustacia.

I'm not using my brown inhaler at the moment, although if I start to get any hayfever etc then I do start using it as it helps.

I would think that using the blue inhaler would be a first step, and then if she is needing it regularly then she would use the brown one too.

I would go back to the GP and ask for a full review.

Sidge Sun 12-Jun-11 21:39:16

If she's not on a regular brown inhaler normally, then you can manage asthma symtoms triggered by a cold or virus by just using the blue inhaler as much as is needed ie every 4 hours or so, for the duration of the illness.

However if she regularly gets coughs, colds or infections throughout the winter, for example, this in itself can be a sign that asthma needs better control and I would advise starting the brown inhaler regularly in say September, continuing through the winter and easing off in the spring.

BambinoBoo Mon 13-Jun-11 09:03:15

DS is what is known as a happy wheezer as he's only 2.6 so can't be classified as asthmatic. Like you Pretty Candles, we got lots of conflicting advice which differed between PCTs (we were inbetween a house move) and it took many a night spent in hospitals with DS on a nebuliser to get any consistent guidance. We finally did c/o BRI when we moved to Bristol, and touch wood, he hasn't had an episode for over 6 months.

What we were told last time, and the advice we have been following is: give DS 1 puff of brown (preventer) morning and night. It will take about 2-4 weeks to build up. As soon as DS starts coughing or looking like he's getting a cold, give him 2-4 puffs of blue every 4 hours (including at night). Increase if it gets worse, and give up to 10 puffs every 4 hours - which my doctor said has the same affect as a nebuliser. Doc then said that if 10 puffs don't last the full 4 hours then he struggling and to bring him in - or if he is non-responsive, pale coloured or floppy, or we just aren't sure, call 999 or get him into A&E - whichever is quickest.

Not sure where you are, but a lot of children's hospitals/wards have Asthma specialists - give your local hospital a call as I know ours has a fact sheet that we have stuck to our fridge. It's really made the difference to us. Hope everything works out well.

hester Mon 13-Jun-11 09:06:05

I'm also a bit surprised that you only have the brown inhaler. dd1 and I both have very mild asthma, and both have only the blue inhaler. I thought you only needed the brown inhaler if the blue one wasn't sufficient to cope with occasional symptoms, or if you were having to use it every day.

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