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Effectiveness of high repeated doses of inhaled budesonide or fluticasone in controlling acute asthma exacerbations in young children.

Author(s): Volovitz B, Bilavsky E, Nussinovitch M

Affiliation(s): Pediatric Asthma Clinic and Research Laboratories and Department of Pediatrics C, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petah Tiqwa. Benjamin@volovitz.com

Publication date & source: 2008-09, J Asthma., 45(7):561-7.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE: The role of inhaled corticosteroids in the treatment of acute asthma exacerbations in children is controversial. This study compared the effect of inhaled budesonide and inhaled fluticasone in controlling acute asthma exacerbations in young children at home. METHODS: In a quasi-randomized crossover design, children aged 5 months to 5 years with severe recurrent asthma episodes were treated either with inhaled budesonide 200 mcg or inhaled fluticasone 125 mcg delivered with a similar spacer. At the onset of asthma exacerbations, 2 puffs of inhaled terbutaline followed by inhaled budesonide or fluticasone was administered using one of the following treatment protocols: 1 4-day protocol for a relatively mild exacerbation; 2 8-day protocol for exacerbations that were more severe or uncontrolled by the 4-day protocol; and 3 8-day protocol + azithromycin for exacerbations uncontrolled by the 8-day protocol or possibly associated with infection with atypical agents. Children were followed for 2 months after each exacerbation. Good response was defined as the absence of asthma symptoms for at least 2 weeks from completion of treatment. RESULTS: One hundred children were recruited: 36 were treated with budesonide, 21 with fluticasone, and 44 with both on different occasions. The groups were similar for preliminary data. Good response was noted in 87% of the budesonide group, 85% of the fluticasone group, and 86% of the budesonide/fluticasone group. By protocol, rates of good response were 84%, 83%, and 94% for the 4-day, 8-day, and 8-day+azithromycin treatment protocols, respectively; corresponding symptom-free periods after treatment were 4.0, 4.9, and 4.3 weeks. None of the children received oral corticosteroids. CONCLUSION: Acute asthma exacerbations in young children can be effectively controlled at home with the use of high repetitive doses of inhaled budesonide or inhaled fluticasone, initially together with beta(2)-agonists, given at the beginning of the attack, for a period of 4-8 days.

Page last updated: 2008-11-03

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