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11 replies [Last post]
By Heather on Fri, 03-09-01, 16:02

My son was wheezing this morning so I sent him with my mother to the pediatrician (I had to go to work). The doctor says he doesn't have asthma but still prescribed some albuterol (1/2 teaspoon 3 times a day). She said my son isn't even wheezing with every breath and she could have even been persuaded to not prescribe any medication at all. I just called the pharmacist and he said a side effect of Albuterol is hyperactivity. Great, just what I need for my already over active, cooped up, cabin fevered 2 year old. I'm debating whether he should even be given the medicine at all. Anyone have any experience with this?

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By KatiesMom on Fri, 03-09-01, 16:27


Albuterol does make kids very hyper. My daughter was just perscribed a new asthma drug called xophenol. It's a 'rescue' medicine like albuertol but without the hyperactivity. Unforuntately it only comes in nebulizer form, not in inhaler form. On advice from our ped. and allergist, we start katie in her asthma meds as soon as she gets gets a cold or bronchitis. If we start her meds before she gets a full blown asthma attack, we can get her better sooner.

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By marla on Fri, 03-09-01, 16:27

I think that if your PA son has asthma (it might be mild and intermittent)that would not be surprising because asthma has allergic triggers. But if it really is asthma, it may well get better with age (and easier to manage).

Both my sons have used Albuterol (along with some other medications). We've never had a big problem with side effects, though with another medication one of my sons always had a bright red face. However, Albuterol, as I understand it, is not meant to be taken for long periods. It sounds as if you need to determine whether or not your son has asthma, how often and when it occurs, and develop a plan from there because there are preventive meds like Cromolyn. I would try to figure out if it's an environmental allergy or one triggered by respiratory infection. If the situation proves chronic, definitely invest in a nebulizer (insurance usually helps out).

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By BENSMOM on Fri, 03-09-01, 18:43

My son takes Albuterol as needed. Last spring he had a bad wheezing attack and I had to take him to urgent care for a breathing treatment. That had never happened before. My pediatrician now says to give him albutrol any time he has a cold to prevent wheezing. He said to just give it twice a day if it's preventative. If he's already wheezing, it's 3 times a day.

It doesn't seem to make him hyper. I have found that I can tell when he is "on the edge" of wheezing, so I don't give it for every cold. He has been sick since last Sunday with a fever and cough (fever's gone now) and I had started him on albuterol Sunday afternoon because I heard the wheezing. The doc told me he wasn't wheezing at all anymore, but to keep him on it. I took him off it yesterday since he seemed clear. He still has the cough, but no wheezing.

If I were in your shoes, I would try the albuterol and see what it does. I hate giving medicine, and usually give nothing for colds and mild fever, but I am so glad to have the albuterol at my disposal. It's worth it to keep him from wheezing. He was really scared/panicky when it happened that one time, and I was scared too.

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By WoozerMom on Fri, 03-09-01, 19:34

Albuterol makes me shaky and I have to use it during bad allergy seasons here.

Our HMO has classes for people with asthmatic children to teach the parents and kids how to avoid having an attack and what to do when they have one. Possibly, your allergist or pediatrician could find some type of group for you.

It is possible to control asthma with preventive medications, although I don't know how much they are using with very young children. I believe that Singulair or Claritin has some type of medication for kids. Ask your allergist or pediatrician. Or contact the drug companies.

I was in a Singulair drug study, and it didn't work for me, but that doesn't mean it won't work for lots of other people.


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By KIM I on Fri, 03-09-01, 20:18

We have only used albuterol in nebulizer form. It has never made him hyper. I know when taken orally it can cause hyperactivity. If your child isn't wheezing with every breath he's still wheezing with others I would use the albuterol because a full blown asthma attack is a lot harder to handle than occ. wheeezing. I'm sure the reason your M.D. gave you oral albuterol instead of inhaled is because it was cheaper and you don't have a nebulizer, but if you do have a nebulizer or know someone who does, it wouldn't hurt to call your M.D. and see if she would change to inhaled albuterol.Kim I

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By ashley'smom on Fri, 03-09-01, 22:33

Our daughter was on both the liquid form (when she was an infant) and the inahled form of albuterol. We have noticed some hyperactivity from the inhaled form. I really don't like to give it to her, but it does make her better. She has not had to be on it for longer than a week and has had four incidents where she required the albuterol.

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By Lidia on Sat, 03-10-01, 16:41

As stated above, Albuterol does have side effects. It makes you hyper and your heart rate gets faster. The new drug Xopenex has the same ingredients as Albuterol without the added ones to make you jumpy. My son has been on Xopenex quite a bit w/ no ill effects. And yes, it is currently only dipensable through nebulizers. I was also told start the treatments as soon as a cough begins. Good Luck

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By Frances on Sat, 03-10-01, 21:48

Heather, What kind of doctor did you see? My allergist says that many family docs or pediatricians don't accurately diagnose asthma. As I understand it the only real way to know if you have asthma is to have a spirometry test done. I would recommend this being done by an allegist since they do so many and usually have better trained staff for spiromety and better equipment. It is no big deal to have done. My son thinks it is kind of fun! My son used to bounce off the walls with albuterol but it passes and as I understand it is is worth it to treat when a child is wheezing. Even for mild wheezing sometimes scar tissue develops and this can be a problem later in life. I would suggest a thorough evaluation--but they may not do it until he is a bit older.

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By Jodi on Wed, 03-14-01, 00:01

My PA son has been prescribed albuterol in liquid form a few different times when he has had colds and has had a tight cough - I was told to give it to him so that it wouldn't turn into bronchitis. We have never been told that he is asthmatic. He has been prescribed this by our family doctor. I always wonder if he has a slight case of asthma due to his peanut allergy as when he gets a cold, he tends to get wheezy sounding real easy. We haven't noticed that the albuterol has made him hyper. I guess he is hyper most of the time so it would be really hard to tell whether it was the medicine or him just being him normal self!

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By jdkelley71 on Wed, 03-14-01, 19:56


My daughter suffers from wheezing attacks ocasionally and our allergist feels she has seasonal asthma. Before we knew this she was taken to the Er once and the Doctor's Office once wheezing.

Using the Albuterol is the only real course of action that they have in stopping the wheezing. It does make most children hyper and my daughter being 2 does not need any more hyperactivity added to her days, however I asked the doctor what to do as he had told me to try to limit her activities during the wheezing times. He told me it was normal that she would have that type of reaction to the meds, not to worry just don't purposly get her involved in any physical activity.

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By KatiesMom on Thu, 03-15-01, 13:59


If you have your own nebulizer, you might want to look into Xopenol. It's a rescue medicine just like albuterol but without the hperactivity. We've been giving it to my daughter for the last two weeks and I have really noticed that she is getting 'psycho' like she does on albuterol. The downside is that it is only available in nebulizer form and it's expensive(at my drugstore it's $80.00 for a two week supply).

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