These medicines may be given by
nebulizer, injection, or mouth (orally).
How It Works
medicines) relax the muscle layer that surrounds the small breathing tubes
(bronchioles ), allowing the tubes to expand and move air
Why It Is Used
Bronchodilators may be used to
wheezing, a problem that can occur from
respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection.
- Often a child who wheezes is given a single treatment by
nebulizer to see whether the medicine reduces
wheezing. Some children will improve with these medicines.
- If wheezing is less after one dose of a bronchodilator, the
medicine is usually added to the child's treatment plan.
Bronchodilators are commonly used for
asthma and similar problems. They act quickly when
given by nebulizer, metered-dose
inhaler, or injection to improve breathing and reduce
How Well It Works
Bronchodilators relax the small
tubes in the lungs. About half the time, they help babies who have RSV breathe easier.1
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine your child takes. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with the medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
- Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
- Side effects may go away after your child takes the medicine for a while.
- If side effects still bother your child and you wonder if he or she should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower the dose or change the medicine. Do not suddenly have your child quit taking the medicine unless your doctor says so.
Call your doctor right away if your child has:
Call your doctor if your child has:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Feeling hyperactive, anxious, or nervous.
- Tremor (such as unsteady, shaky hands).
- Rapid heartbeat or palpitations.
Side effects are more likely to occur with oral or injected
medicine. These side effects are less common when the medicine is
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. If your child takes medicine as your doctor suggests, it will improve your child's health and may prevent future problems. If your child doesn't take the medicines properly, his or her health (and perhaps life) may be at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Horga MA, Moscona A (2006). Respiratory syncytial
virus. In FD Burg et al., eds., Current Pediatric Therapy, 18th ed., pp. 793–797. Philadelphia: Saunders
Primary Medical Reviewer
||Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer
||John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
||June 25, 2012