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Steroids and Immune System.. ?? MunchkinWrangler 4 kids; Rīga, Latvia 46865 posts
4th May '13

Do steroids harm your immune system?



I feel like my son is ALWAYS getting sick.
He's been on a steroid inhalant since he was 6 months old for Asthma.
First it was a steroid nebulizer.... now a steroid inhaler.
Could this be why his immune system is so horrible?

White Chocolate Milk 1 child; Chelsea, Alabama 12303 posts
4th May '13

I wouldn't think so, but with an inhaler the benefits of steroids may no longer be there. Like you just get use to it, instead of it helping a lot. So maybe this is just his natural immune system?

[JadeLee] 1 child; Minnesota 12190 posts
4th May '13

Yes they do suppress the immune system, but his doctor prescribes them because the benefit outweighs the risk. What is he on budesonide (Pulmicort) ?
Albuterol typically does not, since it isn't technically a steroid.



Oral steroids suppress the immune system more so than inhaled.

MunchkinWrangler 4 kids; Rīga, Latvia 46865 posts
4th May '13
Quoting [JadeLee]:" Yes they do suppress the immune system, but his doctor prescribes them because the benefit outweighs the risk. What is he on budesonide (Pulmicort) ? Albuterol typically does not."


He was on Pulmicort 2x a day. Now he takes Flovent; two puffs 2x a day.
I know the benefits definitely outweigh the risks. He's been hospitalized for his asthma... I just am looking for answers as to why he gets sick so much. He just got over a fever, puking, diarrhea and wheezing 2 weeks ago.... now he's got a fever of 103.3, doesn't have an appetite and is incredibly lethargic. It's like every time he gets better... he gets sick again. It's horrible. But he really can't come off the inhaler... without it he can't breathe.

[JadeLee] 1 child; Minnesota 12190 posts
4th May '13
Quoting MunchkinWrangler:" He was on Pulmicort 2x a day. Now he takes Flovent; two puffs 2x a day. I know the benefits definitely ... [snip!] ... he gets better... he gets sick again. It's horrible. But he really can't come off the inhaler... without it he can't breathe."

How old is he?
DD was on Pulmicort and Albuterol nebs for the first 2 years of life and then we were able to wean her. She was sick the WHOLE time. It seemed like if it wasn't one thing it was another. It isn't typical to be able to wean a child off to nothing though.



Flovent warns that it is does suppress the immune system and more prone to infection.
http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=ac4fc4e3-f9a6-4176-96a9-a2c78fad96e0
"Immunosuppression: Potential worsening of existing tuberculosis; fungal, bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection; or ocular herpes simplex. More serious or even fatal course of chickenpox or measles in susceptible patients. Use caution in patients with above because of the potential for worsening of these infections. (5.3)"

Elle&Cole 2 kids; 1 angel baby; Rio Rancho, NM, United States 25132 posts
4th May '13

Yes they do. DH was on steroids for poison ivy in high school and ended up getting sick for 6 months straight! It sucked

MunchkinWrangler 4 kids; Rīga, Latvia 46865 posts
4th May '13
Quoting [JadeLee]:" How old is he? DD was on Pulmicort and Albuterol nebs for the first 2 years of life and then we were ... [snip!] ... in susceptible patients. Use caution in patients with above because of the potential for worsening of these infections. (5.3)""


He just turned 1 year old.
He hated the Pulmicort. He would scream through his nebs. Having the Flovent inhaler is a god-send. It's so fast and he doesn't mind it much. Even before the Flovent, though, he was always sick. He's only been on the Flovent 3 days now. Not even...



I wish he would stop getting sick. I don't want him to be on a steroid at all... I don't even like giving my kids Tylenol unless it's REALLY necessary... but in his case, it's a requirement just for daily life. It's shitty. The doctor said many kids outgrow it by age 2 (as you mentioned with your child), so I am REALLY hoping that it's the case for him. Asthma does not run in the family so this is out of the blue.