Why are inhaled steroids prescribed for children under 5?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Inhaled corticosteroids are the preferred long-term control treatment for children with persistent asthma. Inhaled corticosteroids are meant for the prevention of asthma symptoms. They should not be used to treat asthma attacks.

Two inhaled corticosteroids have been approved by the FDA for children under age 5. Budesonide inhalation suspension (Pulmicort Respules) is appropriate for children aged 12 months to 8 years. This drug is taken with a jet nebulizer once or twice a day. For children aged 4 years and older, fluticasone (Flovent) is available in both metered-dose inhaler and dry-powder inhaler forms. These are usually taken twice a day.

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