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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.

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.