Child put on steroids. Is it that bad?

My son was put in prednisone, our first steroid since diagnosis. Is it really that bad and how did you adjust for it?

Hi Taterbugs,

I'm not sure why your son had been given prednisone, but if it's not absolute necessary for something like severe breathing issues or neurological disorders and so on I would find something else to help. Steroids are one of the most dangerous drugs out there and should be used only when absolutely necessary. They cause all sorts of damage including inducement of diabetes. They're known to cause higher bg in most people with D, so many people have to increase insulin dosage during steroid treatment. One of my docs wanted me to do steroid injections in my knees last year, but I ended up doing some pt, my own treatments at home, including arnica and creams and my knees are much better now with no steroids.

I'm with meee.....Steroids can even cause the onset of T2. Just be careful. Why does he need them? Are they absolutely essential for a life-threatening situation? If so, then do what you need to do. If not---research alternatives....Blessings...Judith in Portland

He has had a persistent cough for over 3 months, has went through two rounds of antibiotics yet it has not improved and he has wheezing. He is going on prednisone for 5 days and if it doesn’t help he will be referred to a pulmonary specialist.

It is a last resort before being referred to a pulmonary specialist for a persistent cough that antibiotics have not helped.

Maybe he has asthma due to the infection or maybe he just has it and the infection is making it worse? In which case I would probably choose an inhaled steroid and inhaled broncho-dilater(ventolin is the only safe one, I'm not sure if it is used in children or not) instead under the supervision of a qualified doctor. I would still avoid oral prednisone unless his breathing is really bad. Whatever you do don't use any of the combo drugs for asthma because they have caused deaths and a lot of problems. I have mild asthma and I have only needed to take a steroid once in my entire life when I had bronchitis, usually I just use ventolin as needed.

I agree totally with super sally :)

My asthma often shows up as tightness in the chest and trouble breathing, I use ventolin 1 puff and in a few minutes the congestion loosens up a lot. Sometimes I don't even realize I have congestion and it just feels as though I can't breath- then ventolin gives me immediate relief but I often still have some congestion come free later. I hardly ever use the steroid inhalers because they just give me a sore throat and again, ventolin is much safer I believe as long as you don't use it too much or at too high a dose.

I was put on Prednisone during my cancer treatment. I was told to drink plenty of water whilst on this drug. Hope your little boy gets better soon.


Like others have said, he may be an undiagnosed asthma that needs daily maintenance, but the pulmonary specialist should be able to tell you that. Also, what about allergies or a chronic sinus infection? All of those things can cause a chronic post nasal drip which can lead to cough and wheezing. If he is diagnosed with asthma I would recommend seeing an asthma education specialist, they are usually an RN or PharmD. They know more about asthma than the docs.
And like the others, I would avoid the oral steroids as much as possible. In my own experience and that of my patients, I have seen little to no impact from inhaled steroids on blood sugar.

Ventolin is used in kids, I've used it since I was 8. I agree it sounds like it could be asthma. I have used inhaled steroids and don't notice any negative impact on my blood sugar like the oral ones can have.

We have already tried the inhaled steroids (Flovent) and though asthma hasn’t been ruled out it is questionable since he has had no history whatsoever of wheezing before. He isn’t going to be in steroids long term, just for the five days to see if it clears up whatever is there.

I have almost never had wheezing with my asthma but I do have asthma.

Yes, I thought it was but I wasn't sure and I didn't want to give her the wrong advice and of course my father used it, he used to use epinephrine, very dangerous then. He has much worse asthma than I do. I wasn't using it properly at first and thought I didn't have asthma because it didn't work.

That stuff is great, opens my airways very quickly!

I have heard people say that also Eucritta. When I took oral steroids for severe poison ivy and other severe skin conditions I felt very ill and I'm sure it was affecting my bg then but I wasn't testing at that time.

Taterbugs Momma, he is already on the steroids as you said so he needs to finish them because if you don't decrease them properly that can cause problems too. I wouldn't worry about it too much, using them once isn't likely to do a lot of damage. I just wouldn't use them long term ever. Hopefully they will figure out what is going on.

Here is a video on Asthma which may help:

I don't recommend long acting beta agonists or combo inhaled steroid drugs.

Having both diabetes and asthma, I can vouch for the horribleness of having to make a decision to use steroids!

Prednisone for me is a BG-disaster, like stuck in the 300-450 range despite low-carbing and double/triple/quadruple the insulin usually needed. However, quite literally though it doesn't matter what your BG is if you can't breathe! Air trumps insulin on a hierarchy of immediately necessary to remain alive, so if prednisone helps your little guy breathe better, and its just supposed to be for a few days, go for it. His BG will likely sky-rocket, but there's not a lot that can be done about it. Sure, give more insulin, but don't expect to be able to keep in range very easily, and know that at least if the prednisone helps you've fixed one problem and the other will go away a day or two after stopping the steroids. A week of high BG (as long as he doesn't end up with DKA) won't cause any long term damage, it'll just be uncomfortable for the both of you.

For what its worth, I only get horrific BG readings from the oral steroids (like prednisone), I've also used inhaled steroids (more asthma) and steroid injections and steroid creams for various short-lived problems, and none of the others had a determinable effect on my BG.

Thank you everyone- his cough seems to have went away but this has been the case over the past three months and then it returns. Bg has been crazy high- for about 6 hours after taking it insulin just doesn’t seem to work. Fingers crossed it’s gone by Monday! For those of you with asthma, would steroids clear up your symptoms?

Have you tried an Albuterol nebulizer or other bronchodilating nebulizer? Of course that would have to be prescribed by your doc. In most of my asthmatic patients they use a combo of steroids, sometimes, but all are on a short acting bronchodilator when they are acutely ill.I think the steroids may help with the wheezing but not sure that they will affect the cough.

I have only used oral prednisone once for my asthma, that was when I had bronchitis and had more trouble breathing, they helped me then. Otherwise I can just treat it with ventolin/albuterol a fast acting broncho dilator. Ventolin opens the airways so it will allow him to cough out any mucus that is in there. I have a cold which is making my asthma worse and used my inhaler last night. I have been told to use it more frequently when sick but I use it very sparingly because it can be dangerous if you use it too frequently. Although when I got out of the hospital after dka I had an asthma like infection and did use it more then because I was having more trouble breathing/coughing etc. -it helped. Many people need to use an inhaled steroid daily and albuterol as needed to control their asthma symptoms if they have worse asthma. Eliminating/avoiding asthma triggers helps a lot too.