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Achromycin, Sumycin (Tetracycline)

Other names: Panmycin
Wheezing attacks can occur in babies but this is usually harmless as attacks are only mild. However, asthma may develop from the age of 12 months onwards and at this age it can present a management problem, as babies cannot manage the inhaler. The main reason for this is they are unable to co-ordinate the breath in with pressing the bottom of the inhaler to release the spray. Not only that, but this spray comes out with such force that most of it hits the back of the throat and very little goes into the lungs.
Yvette was 14 months old and had suffered three wheezing episodes in two months and her parents were naturally very worried about any further attacks. As the inhalers cause such problems at this age it may be necessary to resort to medicine by mouth. The preparation with the least side-effects is Alupent which, if given in the dose of one teaspoon three times daily, will keep the airways open. The problem is that, as it affects the rest of the body as well as the lungs, the dose has to be kept at a low level. Yvette’s mother was not keen on the idea of continuous medicine and asked if there was any other way of preventing the wheezing. The method of treatment I find most beneficial is to use a device called a volumatic or nebuhaler. This is basically a large plastic container which fits on to an ordinary inhaler. Three puffs of the medication can then be squeezed into this container and the baby or young child can inhale it without having to worry about coordinating the breathing. If the wheezing is still not fully controlled then the medication can be inhaled using a special machine called a nebulizer. This is an electrical device which turns the drug into a vapor which is then breathed in slowly over a period of ten minutes. The vapor is inhaled via a mask which can be held close to a baby’s mouth. In older children it is usually only necessary to use this machine during an actual attack. Yvette settled very well with the use of a nebuhaler and managed with this until she was old enough to use the smaller inhaler. The only disadvantage of the nebuhaler is that it is bulky and cannot be carried around in a pocket or handbag.

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