Childhood Diseases

Posted by: m | 2009/06/09


Asthma medicine for coughing?

Our 4 year old son has had a cough for more than two weeks now, also with runny nose, slight fever on two days and mentioned ear ache on one morning.
Every night he wakes me several times with his coughing. (sometimes sounds like a bark, but other times deeper). I am very worried, as this is not getter any better, despite the following:
First I tried to give Adco Flupain, then Allergex for few nights and no results. Then I took him to GP, who gave me Paedamin (decongestant &  antihistamine) and then Seretide MDI-DC (flucticasone propionate with salmeterol xinafoate - not sure if this is in SA too) a few days later.
Our son is still coughing in his sleep (and during the day to a lesser extent) and is breathing hard (when I put my hand in his ribs, it feels as if his lungs are pushing up and down with force) and is restless.
I dislike the thought of giving him asthma medicine for something that the doctor suspects to be an allergy.
Am I wrong to want to try an antibiotic first, rather than this inhaler?
How long should I give this a chance to work? Or should I just take him back again?

Dankie, Prof!

Expert's Reply



What you need here is a proper diagnosis. I think your son has a problem called tracheitis which is an inflammation of the trachea or windpipe and is caused by a virus infection. He does not have asthma and the asthma medication will not help him or his cough. Please stop all of the other medicines as well as they will have no helpful effect on his cough. Tracheitis is a difficult cough to treat and may last for as long as 6 weeks before clearing up by itself.Your son does not need an antibiotic. Usually a short course of a safe cortisone like prednisone [eg Prelone syrup] for 5 days will help a lot and will speed up the recovery period.

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