Medicines for your child

With the right asthma treatment your child can live a full and active life. When your child’s asthma is worse, your doctor may increase their medication and decrease it when their asthma is under control.

Girl being taught to use inhaler and spacer

The following are types of treatment which may be prescribed by your doctor:

  • Reliever Inhalers
  • Preventer Inhalers
  • Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists (LTRA)
Doctor playing with small child

Little boy with reliever inhaler

Reliever Inhaler

Reliever medication relieves symptoms quickly by opening the airways wider and making it easier for your child to breathe. Reliever inhalers are usually blue. Every child with asthma should have a reliever inhaler and should keep it with them at all times. Reliever medication can be taken before your child’s symptoms get worse, for example when they are getting a cold.
If your child needs their reliever inhaler more than twice a week it means that their asthma is not controlled and you should see your doctor. You can learn about reliever medication here
Boy using inhaler with spacer

Controller Inhaler (Inhaled Corticosteroids)

Controller medication reduces the inflammation of the airways over time. It does not provide instant relief of symptoms but builds up protection over a period of time. Controller inhalers are usually brown.
Not every child with asthma will need controller medication. Your child may be prescribed controller medication if they have regular symptoms and/or use their reliever more than twice a week.
Controller medication must be taken every day as prescribed, even when your child is feeling well.
you can learn more about controller medication here
Boy blowing dandelion

Leukotriene Receptor Antagonist (LTRA)

An LTRA may be used instead of or as well as controller medication to help control your child’s asthma. They are particularly effective for children with exercise-related symptoms or allergies. LTRA’s work by blocking one of the reactions in a child’s lungs that causes the airways to flare up when they come into contact with an asthma trigger. LTRA’s are taken once a day, even when a child is well and come as tablets, chewable tablets and granules which can be given in food for children under six months old.  You can find more information about LTRAs and other Add-On treatments such Oral Steroid Tablets here.