Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Treating Asthma Children Medicines

Children with mild irregular asthma do not have symptoms always so, generally do not need to be on daily asthma control medications.

But, every children with asthma may need occasional asthma rescue medications to treat asthma attacks,when occasional periods of asthma symptoms, often triggered by a viral infection, exposure to an allergen or exposure to an irritant.

For fast relief of asthma symptoms, the following below are recommended for children with mild irregular asthma: 

1st treatment — short-acting inhaled [breathed-in] beta-2 agonist 
2nd treatment — short-acting oral [taken by mouth] beta-2 agonist. 

When the asthma symptoms are severe, or the child has had severe asthma attacks in the past, a short course of steroids (see below*) given by mouth or directly into the bloodstream may be recommended.

Short Acting Beta-2 Agonists

Beta-2 agonist is a bronchodilator, a type of medicine that opens up the airways by relaxing the muscles around them, making it easier to breathe. Short-acting ones, such as albuterol [Ventolin] or ipratropium bromide [Atrovent], work fast to treat asthma symptoms, but generally will wear off within a few hours.

Rescue or Reliever asthma medicines work better when breathed in by inhaling. These can be given by a nebulizer or by a metered-dose inhaler [MDI] with a spacer or holding chamber. [Normally for younger children, a mask is used with the nebulizer or spacer.] Short-acting beta-2 agonists can also be given by mouth [for example, albuterol syrup].

Caution:- Using short-acting beta-2 agonists more than 2 times a week in irregular asthma or daily in persistent asthma, may indicate the need to start or increase control medications.


Steroids, also called corticosteroids, reduce inflammation and swelling in the airways. It is used both to treat asthma and prevent asthma attacks, they can be breathed in -via a nebulizer, or via an inhaler using an aerochamber, taken by mouth, or injected directly into the bloodstream or muscle. 

Inhaled steroids (for example, fluticasone or budesonide) are thought to be the most effective treatment for asthma. When using inhaled steroids, children should rinse their mouths after every usage always.