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Control Medicines

What to Tell Your Child

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Ask Your Provider

You should understand why your child has or has not been prescribed control medicines for his asthma. And just like with other medicines, it is important that you speak to your child’s health care provider before your child stops taking the medicine.

Control medicines do not stop an asthma episode. But, if used properly, they can help calm your child’s airways and prevent your child from having as many asthma symptoms. And when your child doesn’t have as many symptoms, he will not have as many episodes. That’s why it’s so important to take control medicines daily as directed, even when your child is feeling well.

Control medicines reduce inflammation in your child’s airways.

These medicines help to reduce the inflammation (swelling and irritation) in your child’s airways. When these medicines are at work, your child’s airways will not be as sensitive to triggers.

Don’t stop asthma control medicines without talking to your child’s health care provider.

Not every child with asthma will be prescribed a control medicine. If your child is prescribed a control medicine, it may take a couple of weeks for the medicine to become fully effective. Your child may have asthma symptoms or even episodes during that time, but don’t stop taking the control medicine. It needs time to work.

Control medicines are distributed in different ways.

Control medicines often come in diskus form, but some children may use a nebulizer to get the control medicine into their airways.

Nebulizers can help your child get medicine into her lungs more efficiently.

The nebulizer, a small machine, changes the medicine into a mist that can be breathed in more quickly, easily, and deeply into the lungs. The child inhales the mist through the mask or mouthpiece. If your child is prescribed a nebulizer, have someone in her health care provider’s office show you and her how to use it.

Read more about common myths families have about asthma medicines.

Asthma Triggers
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Learn how controlling triggers can reduce your child’s asthma symptoms.

Asthma Action Plan
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Use this convenient form to help manage your child’s asthma.

Medicine Quiz
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Take this quiz to get answers about your child's asthma medicines.