Asthma Management Handbook
Close window

Table. Initial preventer treatment for children aged 0–5 years

Age

Pattern of symptoms

Management options and notes *

0–12 months

Intermittent asthma

or

Viral-induced wheeze

Regular preventer treatment is not recommended

Multiple-trigger wheeze

Refer for specialist assessment or obtain specialist advice before prescribing

1–2 years

Intermittent asthma

or

Viral-induced wheeze

Regular preventer treatment is not recommended

Persistent asthma

or

Multiple-trigger wheeze

Consider a treatment trial with sodium cromoglycate 10 mg three times daily and review response in 2–4 weeks

Consider a treatment trial of low-dose inhaled corticosteroids only if wheezing symptoms are disrupting child’s sleeping or play; review response in 4 weeks

2–5 years

Infrequent intermittent asthma

or

Viral-induced wheeze

Regular preventer treatment is not recommended

Frequent intermittent asthma

or

Mild persistent asthma

or

Episodic (viral) wheeze with frequent symptoms

or

Multiple-trigger wheeze

Consider regular treatment with montelukast 4 mg once daily and review response in 2–4 weeks

If symptoms do not respond, consider regular treatment with a low dose of an inhaled corticosteroid and review response in 4 weeks

Moderate–severe persistent asthma

or

Moderate–severe multiple-trigger wheeze

Consider regular treatment with a low dose of an inhaled corticosteroid and review response in 4 weeks

  • Advise parents about potential adverse psychiatric effects of montelukast

* In addition to use of rapid-onset inhaled beta2 agonist when child experiences difficulty breathing

† Starting dose sodium cromoglycate 10 mg (two inhalations of 5 mg/actuation inhaler) three times daily. If good response, reduce to 10 mg twice daily when stable. Cromone inhaler device mouthpieces require daily washing to avoid blocking. 

Asset ID: 20