Asthma attacks are a scary thing for children and parents. When your child’s regular steroid inhaler fails to prevent asthma attacks you wonder what the best cause of action is. According to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, every child’s asthma is different and different children do best with different step-up treatments.
Forty-five percent of children in the study had the best success with long-acting beta-agnoists, or LBAs, such as Serevent, Advair, Foradil and Symbicort. The drugs with the best chance of success — 45% — are long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs), the study suggests. Unfortunately, safety concerns plague these asthma treatments.
About 30 percent of kids in the study did best either with a leukotriene-receptor antagonist (brands include Accolate, Singulair, and Zyflo) or by doubling the dose of the child’s current inhaled steroid medication.
“Nearly all the children had a differential response to each step-up therapy,” said University of Wisconsin researcher Robert F. Lemanske Jr., MD.
Treating Tough Asthma
The study included 182 children age 6 to 17 years who have had recent asthma attacks despite using a steroid inhaler twice a day.
For three 16-week periods, each child continued to take the regular dose of inhaled corticosteroid and added a different step-up treatment. The step-up treatments include either a LABA such as Advair, a LTRA such as Singulair, or a double dose of their steroid inhaler.