Back to School, Back to Asthma Basics


Meredith Hemler

By Dr Michael DePietro, Medical Director, Respiratory

As the summer comes to a close and the new school year approaches, parents of children with asthma have unique concerns. It’s an important time to have your own “Asthma: 101” and help your child manage asthma throughout the school year.

1. Learn About Asthma

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways in the lungs. When your child has an asthma attack, the airways become irritated and inflamed, making it more difficult for your child to breathe. Over 7 million children—or 1 out of 11 kids—suffer from asthma, and it can be a serious health concern that can impact daily life.

It can be easy to confuse asthma with a cold or flu, so it’s important to learn how to recognize the most common symptoms of asthma, such as coughing, wheezing, or tightness in the chest.

2. Identify And Reduce Exposure To Your Child’s Triggers

Asthma attacks can be triggered by daily events and routines. Some common triggers include dust in the home, cigarette smoke, exercise, mold, and grass/tree/weed pollens. One particularly important group of triggers  for worsening asthma  symptoms are  viral respiratory tract infections, such as the flu. It is recommended that most children with asthma receive a flu vaccination every year. This should be discussed with your child’s doctor. By identifying and eliminating triggers, you are taking an important step toward managing your child’s asthma.

3. Talk to a Doctor

Because children can’t always express their symptoms, your child’s doctor may rely on you to report symptoms in order to make an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment recommendations.

One example of potential treatment is PULMICORT RESPULES® (budesonide inhalation suspension). PULMICORT RESPULES is an FDA-approved asthma maintenance medication created just for kids ages 12 months to 8 years to control and prevent asthma symptoms. PULMICORT RESPULES helps reduce swelling and inflammation in the lungs, and helps keep the airways open to reduce asthma symptoms. By breathing through a jet nebulizer connected to an air compressor with an adequate air flow, your child receives the medicine in his or her lungs. PULMICORT RESPULES is available in a once or twice-daily dosing option. It is available in 3 strengths: 0.25 mg/2 mL, 0.5 mg/2 mL, or 1 mg/2 mL.

Important Safety Information

PULMICORT RESPULES is not a bronchodilator and should NOT be used to treat an acute asthma attack. If your child is switching to PULMICORT RESPULES from an oral corticosteroid, follow the doctor’s instructions to avoid serious health risks when your child stops using oral corticosteroids.

Only use PULMICORT RESPULES with a jet nebulizer machine that is connected to an air compressor. Do not use an ultrasonic nebulizer.

Thrush infection of the mouth and throat may occur with PULMICORT RESPULES.

Avoid exposure of your child to infections such as chicken pox and measles. Tell your doctor immediately if your child is exposed.

Inhaled corticosteroids may cause a reduction in growth rate. The long-term effect on final adult height is unknown.

PULMICORT RESPULES should not be used if your child is allergic to budesonide or any of the ingredients.

Be sure to tell the healthcare provider about all your child’s health conditions and all medicines he or she may be taking.

As with other inhaled asthma medications, bronchospasm, with an immediate increase in wheezing, may occur after dosing. If bronchospasm occurs following dosing with PULMICORT RESPULES, it should be treated immediately with a fast-acting inhaled bronchodilator. Treatment with PULMICORT RESPULES should be stopped and your physician consulted.

The most common side effects include respiratory infection, runny nose, coughing, ear infection, viral infection, thrush in the mouth and throat, inflammation of the stomach including vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite, nose bleed, pink eye, and rash.

For Full Prescribing Information or more information about PULMICORT RESPULES, visit or call 1-800-236-9933 (Monday – Friday 8 AM – 6 PM ET, excluding holidays) to speak directly with a nurse, who will answer any questions that you may have.

4. Work With Your Child’s School

After talking with your child’s doctor to establish a treatment plan, it’s important to work with school officials to ensure your child’s health and comfort when away from home. Before the school year starts, schedule an appointment with the school nurse or school representative to discuss your child’s needs, how the school can help minimize your child’s triggers, and find out what paperwork you may need to complete in order for your child to have his medication at school. If you need to sign any waivers for medication administration, make sure other adults, such as sports coaches, bus drivers, or after-school aides also have the forms they need.

By taking the time to talk with your healthcare provider and school nurse, you can help your child have a safe and healthy school year.

Approved Use

PULMICORT RESPULES® (budesonide inhalation suspension) is a maintenance medicine used to control and prevent asthma symptoms in children ages 12 months to 8 years.

Please click here for full Prescribing Information for PULMICORT RESPULES.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.

Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

This product information is intended for US consumers only.

PULMICORT RESPULES is a registered trademark of the AstraZeneca group of companies.

©2014 AstraZeneca. All rights reserved. 3028702 Last Updated 8/14