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Does my son have asthma? Im confused!
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Does my son have asthma? Im confused!

My son develops a wheeze after he gets a cold. His pulmonologist gave us three types of medicine. Pulmicort, Xopenex and Albuterol Sulfate. I am not sure which meds i am suppose to use when he get the wheeze. In the office they give him a mix of Pulmicort and Albuterol Sulfate. What the Xopenex for?? I have never offically been told that he has Asthma. About a week ago during his nap he woke up on all fours, dry heaving and couldnt breath. I took him to the ER and they said that it was Croup. They gave him a steriod shot and a breathing treatment. I am planning on going back to the pulmonogist to update him on whats going on. I am really worried about the winter coming because that seems to be when he is the sickest. Any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Please help!!
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Hi, so sorry your son (are going through this).

He may have asthma and he may not.  Many respiratory illnesses can be treated with asthma meds under the right circumstances - bronchitis, pneumonia, croup, colds that won't clear...  The pulmon could just be treating the croup.

He could have asthma as well, but some doctors don't want to give the diagnosis of asthma to children under 7.  Some times they will try to avoid it in adults as well.  It is a bad thing to have in your medical history as far as insurance is concerned.

Pulmicort is a inhaled corticosteroid (ICS).  That is used to reduce inflamation (inflammation) directly in the lungs.  Only a very small percentage of the medicine can get into his system.

Albuterol and Xopenex are both short acting broncho dilaters (SABA).  Xopenex is good for children because SABAs are stimulants and can cause children to be hyper.  Xopenex is a more "pure" for of the medicine and has much less of the stimulant side effect.  I am not sure why they gave you two SABAs.  Is one a neb solution and the other a metered dose inhaler (MDI - spray type inhaler).  

If all you want to know is what the diagnosis is, you could probably call the dr's office and just ask for that information.  No need for an apointment for that one.  If you need more information on the medications and how to use them, that is another.  You might want to ask the doctor to train him and you on how to use the inhalers.  They can be tricky to time correctly.  A device called a spacer will train you on its own.  It squawks if you inhale too quickly, but you want your inhalation rate to be just under that or on a very quiet squawk.  They make MDIs much more effective as more of the medicines makes it into the lungs where it is needed.  

I hope this has helped you.  Take care and keep us posted.
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