Joe has been on and off extra antibiotics since November as he has been catching lots of viruses which is typical of all toddlers over the cold and flu season. Because Joe has Cystic Fibrosis these viruses can take longer to leave his system than in other non CF children.
At his last CF clinic he was prescribed more antibiotics due to another virus which caused a rash all over his body, cold like symptoms and loss of weight. He also had a wheeze in his chest so has been prescribed a Salbutamol inhaler which he is to have every 4 hours for the first few days and then as and when needed afterwards.
The extra antibiotic he has is called co-amoxiclav (he has flucloxacillin, another type antibiotic permanently twice a day, and has done since he was very little- to see a list of his other medications click here.).
Co amoxiclav is a penicillin based antibiotic, it is given to treat bacterial infections and is often prescribed for sinus infections, urine infections, skin infections, joint infections and some dental infections. It is also given before some surgical operations to prevent an infection from developing.
Co-amoxiclav contains two ingredients, amoxicillin and clavulanic acid. The first ingredient, amoxicillin, is a penicillin antibiotic which treats infection by killing the bacteria responsible for the infection. Some bacteria are able to produce a chemical which makes amoxicillin less effective. The second ingredient, clavulanic acid, stops this from happening. Clavulanic acid stops the chemical produced by the bacteria from working, and this allows the amoxicillin to kill the bacteria.
The Salbutamol inhaler (otherwise known as ventolin) is administered using a spacer (that you can see in the picture at the top of this post). This is to help Joe breathe in the medication as he is unable to administer it himself.
Salbutamol works by widening your airways, it opens up the air passages in your lungs so that air can pass through more freely. Salbutamol helps to relieve symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and feeling breathless. It starts to work within a few minutes and the effect will last between 3-5 hours. It is called a reliever inhaler because it relieves the symptoms but does not prevent them from happening.
Joe has also been urinating more frequently. This could be caused by the virus but it is also possible that he may have CFRD (Cystic Fibrosis Related diabetes), we are keeping an eye on his weight and urination over the next month or so- if he continues to urinate excessively he will be given a glucose test to check for CFRD. We are really hoping this won’t be necessary, CFRD is quite rare in CF children and is not routinely tested for until they are over 12 years of age, but as our consultant said, its not unheard of.
His weight loss is not too concerning at the moment as this is the first time since he was a tiny baby that he has lost any weight, so we are putting it down to feeling rough with viruses and therefore having less of an appetite. To improve this for next time we are continuing to give him a high calorie diet (see this post for an explanation of pancreatic insufficiency.)
Getting a very active, quite fussy feeding toddler to gain weight without him living on chocolate and rubbish is a bit of a struggle but I am in the process of trying to get him to try a wider variety of foods through various methods (eating at table will little distraction as a family, using a plate with divided sections, using a sticker reward chart, using flash cards) which I will feed back on the progress of in a later post!
Hope everyone is well!
And remember the month of May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness month, so get thinking of ways to raise money and awareness for sufferers of Cystic Fibrosis around the world!