Children And Severe Asthma
Few things are as heartbreaking as seeing a young child struggle with asthma and poor breathing. Asthma is a prevalent condition affecting millions of people worldwide. In the US alone, more than 4 million children have asthma. Severe asthma can limit a child’s ability to do everyday activities and can even lead to hospitalization or death. Although there is no cure for asthma, a variety of medications are available to help control the symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening.
Managing pediatric asthma
Since severe asthma can be challenging to manage in children, doctors often prescribe a combination of medications to provide the most effective treatment. To start with, short-acting bronchodilators can open airways and reduce wheezing. Inhaled corticosteroids reduce airway inflammation, and long-acting bronchodilators can also help. Occasionally, doctors may even prescribe oxygen therapy to improve breathing for children with severely impaired lung function. However, the effectiveness of these treatments varies from child to child. Depending on the asthma severity, some children may require multiple drugs daily to keep symptoms under control. While necessary at times, this approach can sometimes cause several problems, including unpleasant side effects and increased costs.
Can compounding help?
The dosage strengths of commercially available medications are sometimes ineffective in children with severe asthma. In addition, many children prefer to chew or drink medications instead of swallowing a pill. With the help of compounding, pharmacists can customize medicines to meet each patient’s specific needs. For example, pharmacists can combine 2 or more medications to create an oral solution that can be more easily swallowed. Compounded medications can also be made in various strengths to meet a patient’s exact needs. This allows physicians to prescribe lower doses, potentially reducing drug side effects and saving money. Compounding pharmacists can also create various dosage forms, such as syrups, capsules, and flavored tablets, so children can take the medication more comfortably.
Compounding preferred by parents
When children are prescribed multiple medications, parents are tasked with keeping track of all the prescriptions and ensuring each is taken correctly. This can be highly stressful for parents already caring for a sick child. Compounding pharmacies can simplify the process by handling the paperwork and combining multiple medications into a single prescription. Additionally, with the child’s preferred taste and form of medication, parents will no longer have to stress over a child not taking medications correctly. Regarding cost, parents may find that compounded medications are more affordable than generic or branded versions. Combining different drugs into 1 dose can result in substantial savings. In the long run, compounded medications may also eliminate the need for additional appointments or hospitalizations.
Before pursuing compounded medicines for children, parents should talk with the child’s doctor about whether this option is appropriate. Treating severe asthma is a challenge for parents and especially the child. Ensuring the proper treatment regimen is available in a preferred form can make living with severe asthma easier.
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