Last updated on 26/09/2023


Did you know that if your child has been diagnosed with asthma, starting an asthma preventer should be considered?  

Children with ongoing symptoms of asthma, or those who have moderate to severe asthma flare-ups, should be using a regular preventer.  

Using a regular preventer medicine can:  

  • improve their quality of life  
  • prevent symptoms  
  • reduce the chance of flare-ups.  

There have been changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) that affect how doctors can prescribe a preventer for your child.  

The PBS subsidy or benefit for Axotide Junior or Flixotide Junior has been removed when prescribed for the first time to kids aged 6 years or older. However, if originally prescribed to a child before turning 6 years of age, then the benefit will continue. 

If this affects you or your child, you may still access Axotide Junior or Flixotide Junior as a private prescription. If you need subsidised prices to access this medicine, your doctor may choose another preventer which is PBS subsidised. See the table below for examples. 

Need some clear information about this change? Read on. We want you to know your options about asthma preventers for your child to help make the best choices for you and your family.  

Why is this important? 

The most important treatment for asthma is using a medicine which prevents asthma attacks or flare-ups. This is the job of a preventer. 

Only kids with very infrequent symptoms would be using a reliever only without being prescribed a preventer. It should be rare that relievers are the only part of your child’s asthma management plan. 

Preventers need to be used regularly to be effective. 

To learn more, click here: HOW DO PREVENTERS HELP ASTHMA?

Brand Name Active Ingredient Strengths Available Age criteria for PBS subsidy
Alvesco Ciclesonide Available as 80mcg strength for children 6 years and older
Axotide and Flixotide Fluticasone propionate Available in a range of strengths; 50mcg strength is suitable for children from 1 year 50mcg strength: Subsidy under 6 years of age only  

No restriction on other strengths

Pulmicort   Budesonide    Available as 100mcg and 200mcg strengths for children   No restriction  
Qvar   Beclometasone   Available as 50mcg strength for children  5 years and older  

There are also preventers available for kids which contain two medicines in one device, which may be used if your child’s asthma is difficult to manage. 

Talk to your doctor if you feel this might be the case for your child. 


Preventers need to be used regularly to be effective. 

Some preventers are prescribed for once-a-day use and some for twice-a-day use. You and your child’s preferences, needs and circumstances will help your doctor decide if their preventer is prescribed once or twice a day.  

What should I discuss with my doctor and pharmacist about my child’s preventer?

It is important you know why your child needs a preventer, how it works, what are the side effects and how to avoid them, as well as how to use the device. Some simple questions you can ask your doctor at your next asthma consultation include:  

  • What’s the best preventer for my child to ensure their asthma is under control?  
  • What are our options? How many times per day? What is best suited to my child’s lifestyle? How much does it cost?  
  • What side effects should we expect and how to avoid them?  
  • How does my child use their device to ensure it works as designed?  
  • Use of asthma preventer medicines for kids can be key to their health and wellbeing by reducing or preventing their symptoms and preventing dangerous flare-ups.  
  • Although one preventer option is no longer subsidised on the PBS if it was not prescribed for the first time before your child turned 6 years, there are other options. This is a great chance for you to find out more about preventers and why they’re needed, so you can have your questions ready for your child’s doctor.  
  • Asthma Australia can help answer many of your questions about this topic. Talking to our educators can help you understand the information you receive from your doctor and pharmacist. To speak with an Asthma Educator about your child’s asthma, call 1800 ASTHMA (278 462).