Blue and Brown inhalers not enough - my 4 year old can't sleep


My son has had several hospital admissions since aged 2. We got a brown inhaler when he was three and we have a 100 and he has four puffs per day. We use the blue when he needs it. His triggers are viral and pollen as far as I can tell. In the evening if he has a tight chest he gets manic and can't relax and go to sleep. If I give him too much blue inhaler that makes it worse as he starts bouncing off the walls. We have used Medised which seems to relax him/his lungs but I don't want to be giving him Paracetomol if he doesn't need it. I have an appointment with the GP and would welcome anybodies advice or experience. My nerves are in shreds!!!

10 Replies

  • Hi,

    Nocturnal symptoms in any asthmatic are indicative of uncontrolled asthma. Regular coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath are asthma symptoms that mean there is underlying inflammation in the airways.

    At 400mcg a day he is already on a decent dose of his preventer. He has the usual triggers however the frequent admissions need addressing as his asthma is not under controll so you are doing the right thing seeing the Gp.

    Does he have a spacer with his inhaler? What kind of inhaler is he on? Is it a metered dose inhaler or breath actuated etc.

    Inhaler technique is a massive factor with asthma controll and this may be as simple as his inhaler administration may need altering.

    If you get little or no joy with the GP book in to see the asthma nurse at the pracice.

    Best wishes.

  • Green Inhalers


    My 3 year old son has asthma and we are having the same problems. The triggers appear to be viral and he has been ill on and off now since August/September. He has been prescribed a green inhaler called Serevent in a 25mg dose given once in the morning and once in the evening. The relief lasts for approximately 10-12 hours depending on the severity of the asthma and does not require the use of a blue inhaler in between. I have found that this does help ease the coughing but yet again he has developed another chest infection so I have had to use the ventolin inhaler (blue). As he is under the care of the local childrens hospital I will be asking for a full asthma assessment and check as this can not go on for much longer not only is he not sleeping but neither is anyone else in the family!!! Take care and best wishes to you both.

  • my daughter has just turned 2 and was diagnosed with asthma in August. her main symtom was a permanent cough. she has the brown inhaler 100 2 puffs in morning and at night and the blue one whenever she needs it.

    whenever she gets a cold it goes straight to her chest, she's got a cold now and tonight she has been coughing every few minutes for the whole night, she's had her blue inhaler which has done nothing. i've given her medised which normally lets her get a couple of hours sleep but nothing.

    she's got a follow up appointment with a paediatrician on 29th dec so will see what can be done - it's a bit of a nightmare with my 7 week old daughter who has bronchilitius at the minute aswell - that's why I'm on here at 5am!!

  • Sophies Mummy

    If her Blue inhaler is not doing anything I would suggest you ring the Gp this morning for advice.

    You may be advised to give it regularly or she may have infection on top of cold but as I'm not a medical bod don't know.

    Things are always worse at night when everyone is tired and if her inhaler is not helping/giving her relief now during the day you need medical help. Don't wait.

  • Ventolin and Prednisolone make mine loopy in large doses, Daughter no 3 was up till midnight last night normally in bed at 6pm. Not ill just boinging all over place.

    You still need to give the ventolin at the recommended doses and accept they are going to drive you nuts as would rather have an insane child who can breathe than one who lies still cos they can't.

    Its tough and have never found a solution in ten years except ringing Grandma for an hours rest in the day as need them to be not drugged so they wake up if coughing worsening etc and let you know how ill they are.

  • Singulair


    Thanks to everyone for their comments/suggestions. It's great to know that I'm not on my own. I went to see the Doc who implied that Sam not going to sleep was not necessarily a sign of Asthma - I think he was implying that perhaps he was just over tired/being naughty. In reality, Sam is as good as gold and he lies there for up to two hours sometimes and just can't drop off. He isn't coughing (I think on the whole the brown inhaler puts pay to that ) but I can hear that his breathing isn't relaxed. I think his chest is tight and he can't go to sleep. Doc says it isn't asthma if he doesn't cough and wheeze and that I am giving him the blue/medised when he doesn't need it. My view is that an adult with Asthma would start the blue before couging/wheezing - when their chest first felt tight. I take Marmite's point about not wanting them on medised at night incase they don't wake when the need to. The Doc has suggested Singulair - does anyone have any experience of using this?

  • hi there mum of sam!

    Im angered by the fact that the doc told u if he didnt wheeze it not asthma and him suggesting that ur over medicating ur son. U no ur child best! U no wen he isnt right so do trust ur instincts! Not all asthmatics wheeze! I do and badly wen i do but my friend has severe asthma and only ever gets a tight chest wit pain and a tickly cough! Everyone is different!

    On the singular front ive been takin it since i was 12 it wrked really well for me especially as a child wit very grumpy nocturnal symptoms and a degree of exercise induced symptoms too!

    Im not a parent but ive been a severe asthmatic all my life and hav had really bad attacks wit virtually no symptoms at all and reletively minor ones wit loads... Its an unpredictable condition and does affect everybody differently. Given that not using the ventolin leads to worsening asthma etc i think that surely wen a child looks or sounds like they're strugglin then give them ventolin! Its hard for me as an adult to sometimes describe the feelin in my chest durin an attack so how can a lil'un b expected to articulate that!

    Good look tho wit him n trust ur maternal instincts noone knows ur child better than u! Xx

  • Helen- cudnt reply to ur PM as its not set up for receivin messages...

    Glad i cud help a little bit it must b hard to b a parent of an asthmatic child havin been the asthmatic all my life i found it upsettin to imagine myself in that situation and it wud terrify me to watch anyone i loved let alone a child strugglin so i think all u parents r fab and very brave!!! Dont no where id b sometimes witout my mum! She still knows me better than i know myself and even now tells me to use my ventolin wen she feels i need it lol - im 26!! :-)

    Take care and if u ever just wanna chat to someone feel free to PM me! Take care n good luck wit everythin! Xxx

  • Hi there my sister died of ASTHMA at a 23 and her son who i care 4 ryan also has asthma he takes the blue and brown inhaler and had trouble at night.eventually the doctor prescribed singulair 4mg which he has every night b4 he goes to bed and it really helps wigth sleeping and the snoring and wheezing.I hope this helps and the doctor will at least let you try it

  • Hi there my sister died of ASTHMA at a 23 and her son who i care 4 ryan also has asthma he takes the blue and brown inhaler and had trouble at night.eventually the doctor prescribed singulair 4mg which he has every night b4 he goes to bed and it really helps wigth sleeping and the snoring and wheezing.I hope this helps and the doctor will at least let you try it

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