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Childrens Services

Triamcinolone for children with asthma

What is Triamcinolone?

Triamcinolone is a steroid injection, which is injected into the thigh or buttock muscles and is slowly released into the body over a period of weeks. It has been shown that some children with severe asthma may improve whilst on Triamcinolone.

Why is Triamcinolone given?Show [+]Hide [-]

Your doctor will already have discussed with you/your child has severe asthma that is proving difficult to control. One way that could improve the asthma control is to replace regular oral Prednisolone with Triamcinolone.

How often is it given?Show [+]Hide [-]

 The injection is given every 4-6 weeks. It is important not to miss an injection as the asthma may get rapidly worse.

Who will give this injection?Show [+]Hide [-]

We can arrange for the injection to be given by a nurse at a place is suitable for everyone concerned.

This could be at your GP’s surgery or at the hospital.

How long is it given for?Show [+]Hide [-]

It is likely that the injections will be used to settle the asthma down for three to six months, but in certain circumstances it may given for longer periods.

How will we tell if the treatment is helping?Show [+]Hide [-]

Patients are seen regularly in clinic to check if they have:

  • had any asthma attacks.
  • has been admitted to hospital.
  • has any booster doses of Prednisolone.
  • are managing to attend school.
  • have had less symptoms.

Does it have any side effects?Show [+]Hide [-]

The injection site may ache a little for a couple of hours but this should settle down. It will have the same side effects as the regular oral Prednisolone:

  • It may suppress your/your child’s own natural steroids (produced by the adrenal glands) – this means that if your child has another serious illness, accident or operation, you should always inform the doctors so that an extra boost of steroids can be given.
  • Nausea, vomiting or lethargy for no apparent reason could be a sign that the adrenal glands are suppressed – please see a doctor immediately and tell them you receive monthly Triamcinolone injections.
  • Muscle weakness is a rare complication of steroids.
  • High blood pressure and sugar diabetes have been reported with steroids – we will monitor this in clinic.
  • A possible side effect is weakening of the bones leading to fractures. This is rare. 
  • Other side effects include weight gain and acne. 
  • We recommend the use of a steroids warning card and a medic-alert bracelet – please ask the respiratory team about these.

What else do I need to know?Show [+]Hide [-]

Chicken pox can be a severe illness while on steroids. 

If you/your child has never had chicken pox please let the doctors know. We can test your immune protection to chicken pox. If you/your child has not had chicken pox and come into contact with someone with it we recommend you have some treatment to make it less severe. Please ring your GP or the team at the hospital.

More informationShow [+]Hide [-]

After going home patients have open access to our assessment ward at the RVI. This is open between 6.00am and 2.00am. Please ring 0191 282 6006 if you think you/your child is unwell and you wish them to be assessed.

Those living further away should be given open access to their local children’s unit.


We hope this information has been helpful to you but is by no means a replacement for talking to either the doctor or nurse. If you would like more information or advice please contact either:

  • Respiratory secretaries, tel: 0191 233 6161 Monday to Friday at the RVI 9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Nurse Specialist for Children’s Respiratory on tel: 0191 282 5558 Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm.
  • The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can offer on-the-spot advice and information about the NHS. You can contact them on freephone 0800 032 02 02 or e-mail

You can also download a PDF version of this information.

Useful websites

If you would like further information about health conditions and treatment options, you may wish to have a look at the NHS Choices website. On this website there is an information prescription generator which brings together a wealth of approved patient information from the NHS and charity partners which you may find helpful.

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