I know some people wonder if asthma medicine will stunt their child's growth. Sometimes people worry about side effects when they hear the word "steroid." Inhaled corticosteroids are used daily for asthma to control inflammation in the lungs. AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology) says they are NOT the same steroids that body builders use!
This is a list of some of the most commonly used inhaled corticosteroids from AAAAI :
- Flovent diskus or inhaler
- Pulmicort flexhaler
My Son #2 has severe asthma and has been hospitalized 8 times and almost died twice. At age 18, he is almost 6 foot tall now. At age 22, Son #1 has mild asthma, has never been hospitalized, and is 5' 6". So how does the son who has been on a LOT more asthma medication over the years end up TALLER than his brother? No idea.
The take away from this post is that I wouldn't stop giving my child asthma medicine because I was worried it might make them a 1/2" shorter. Daily, controller medicine can keep the swelling down in the lungs and prevent more serious asthma attacks, and for my kids, can help avoid hospitalizations.
American Lung Association has a section that talks about the effects of swelling in the lungs:
"Poor asthma management can lead to airway remodeling. Airway remodeling is a serious condition that happens when asthma is untreated or poorly managed. The lungs become scarred, asthma medicines do not work as well, and less air is able to move through the airways. Airway remodeling does not have to happen. "
I don't want my teenagers to have damaged lungs because they didn't take their daily asthma medicine. Our teenagers have regular checkups with the asthma doctor. Depending on how they are doing, he adjusts their medicine. If they're still coughing at night or using their rescue inhaler more than twice a week, he will "step up" their medicine. (Increase the dose or add another medicine). If they are doing well, he can "step down" their medicine. (Decrease a dose or have them stop taking a medicine)
If you are worried about the medicine your child takes, do a little research and talk to your doctor. He's there to help you!