Some parents worry that children who use inhaled corticosteroids may not grow as tall as other children. A very small difference in height and growth was found in children who were using inhaled corticosteroids compared to children not using them. 3 And one study showed a very small difference in height [about in. ( cm) ] in adults who used inhaled corticosteroids as children compared to adults who did not use inhaled corticosteroids. 4 But the use of inhaled corticosteroids has important health benefits for children who have asthma. If you are worried about the effects of asthma medicines on your child, talk with your doctor.
Poor Growth: While poor growth can result from ICS, poorly controlled asthma can also lead to poor growth in children. In general, low and medium doses of ICS are potentially associated with small, non-progressive but reversible declines in growth of children. As a result, you and your asthma provider should not only carefully monitor growth, but try to use the lowest possible dose that gets good control of your child's asthma. You must weigh the potential benefits of good asthma control with the small but real possible side effect of slowed growth.
Communicating the effectiveness, safety, and importance of ICS for asthma control and addressing concerns about their long-term use should occur at all levels of health care. It is also important for clinicians and educators to tailor their communications based on consideration of the patient’s health literacy level. As well, it is crucial to develop a heightened awareness of health disparities and cultural barriers that facilitate more effective communication with minority (ethnic or racial) or economically disadvantaged patients regarding the use of asthma medications that may improve asthma outcomes.