Asthma UK community forum

Hello, so glad to find you all!

Hello, my name is Julie. I don't live in the UK but this is the only asthma forum I could find that looked active!

My 9 year old has asthma and was diagnosed at age 1. He is in the middle of a flare that we just cannot seem to get rid of! He is on his third course of prednisone now and we just had his medications changed around at the pulmonologist yesterday.

He has cough variant asthma, so his main symptom is a cough cough cough! The pulmonologist said that if his cough is not gone at the end of this next 7 day course of prednisone he wants to do some testing to see if there is anything else going on. What else could be going on????

Why isn't the prednisone making it go away? He is 75% better than he was 2 weeks ago, but it almost seems as if the coughing is coming back..........Does anyone have an input?

Thank you!

3 Replies

Hi there - my main symptom is also cough cough cough... so I can relate there.

In terms of what else might be going on, I'm not sure whether all of this applies in 9 year olds, but for me they're currently doing tests to find or rule out things like Bronchiectasis and aspergillus infection. I'm also having some immune tests and so on.

In adults they often also test for A1AD (a genetic condition that causes slow healing of the lungs) and sometimes they also screen for cystic fibrosis - between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 cases of CF is so mild that it might not be picked up until adulthood (if it ever is).

Some people respond less well to prednisolone than others, so it's also possible that he just wants to check for that. And there are a small number of people in whom the drugs that prevent asthma in most of us actually make it worse.

Another thing that can cause coughing is breathing-pattern problems, as well as upper-respiratory problems (post nasal drip for example) but I'm guessing that your pulmonologist would have picked these up very quickly if they were to blame as they can be quite obvious (not always, but often).

The final thing I can think of (there will be other things that I'm not aware of) is reflux / GORD. That can cause persistent cough and is generally pretty simple to treat. There are tests for it but sometimes they just give you the drugs (PPIs) for a month and see if it makes a difference, as the tests aren't very nice.

My cough goes on prednisolone and then generally comes back as soon as I'm off it (though mildly at first). It quickly builds up into a cycle where I'm coughing so much that my lungs are aggravated by coughing, and they make more sticky mucus to protect themselves, and then I have to cough it up. Annoying!

Good luck,



Some good suggestions. Another thing it might be is that he has a chest infection hanging around that's triggering his asthma and until that's gone/going then the asthma can still play up even with the pred. I hope he's feeling better soon.


Thank you all for your input. He does have reflux, he has been treated for that since he was 3. So I do know that can play a part. But since the asthma flares after a cold I am not sure if that is part of this picture or not. He is outside right now playing and I can hear him coughing. This is day 4 of his third round of prednisone! I have talked and talked and talked about his nasal drainage but none of them will listen! He is always stuffy but they just tell me that isn't it.....I just want him to be better!


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