Child care: When to use corticosteroids?

3 February 2017
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3 February 2017, Comments: 0

Corticosteroids are usually given for children with asthma or hay fever. These medications work by reducing the swelling and inflammation that arises with persistent allergy or asthma.

Generally, corticosteroids are safe to use and work effectively if taken as recommended. Remember though that they can cause certain side effects that you should be familiar with.

What are the types of corticosteroids?

Systemic

These corticosteroids are given for a brief period if a child has a severe asthma attack. In some instances, these can help save lives.

The child can be given a tablet, pill or liquid. It can also be given as a shot or intravenously.

Side effects

Corticosteroids

The systemic corticosteroids are given for a brief period if a child has a severe asthma attack.

  • Behavioral changes
  • Acne
  • Poor appetite
  • Thrush
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Stomach upset

These effects settle once the medication is stopped. The serious effects can occur if the medication is used often or for 2 weeks or longer.

Inhaled

These corticosteroids are given to prevent or control the symptoms of asthma. These are breathed in via an inhaler and works by reducing the inflammation within the bronchial tubes of the lungs. This type of corticosteroid is highly effective for asthma control and prevention.

It can be used by the child to reduce the symptoms and there is no need to take other medications. In addition, it also helps improve sleep and activity as well as prevent attacks.

Side effects

  • Hoarseness
  • Yeast infection in the mouth

The risk for these effects can be minimized by utilizing a spacer or a holding chamber, thorough rinsing the mouth after using the inhaler or administering the lowest dosage needed.

Intranasal

This type of corticosteroid which is sprayed into the nose is used to prevent or control congestion and runny nose from allergies. They work well in managing the allergy symptoms and the child no longer needs to use other medications.

Side effects

  • Irritation of the nose
  • Feeling that something is running down the throat
  • The child might have nosebleeds

In case nosebleeds occurs, stop using the spray for a few days to allow the child to restart the medication and continue using.

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