Ask the Experts

Treating Asthma and ADHD

“My eight-year-old ADHD son has significant lung problems, including asthma, and frequently takes oral steroids to control it. How do I manage the ADHD when the steroids throw his ADHD medication out of control?”

I wish I had a better answer to your question. Both steroids and some of the broncheodilators can cause an increase in ADHD symptoms. If the use of these medications is brief, we try to live with it and provide more structure and supervision. If the medications are to be used long-term, it might be possible to temporarily increase the dose of the stimulants. Unfortunately, we usually have to live with the period of increased behaviors.