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Minerva Pediatr. 2003 Aug;55(4):357-67.

The use of corticosteroids in syntomathic asthma in childhood.

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Department of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, UK.


Corticosteroids (CS) have been used in the management of wheezing illnesses for several decades and have become the cornerstone of the management of childhood asthma. Inhaled corticosteroids are considered first-line treatment for frequent, persistent asthma in every guideline. Whilst undoubtedly they have provided enormous benefit to those asthmatics who would otherwise have been prescribed oral corticosteroids and so been at a high risk of side-effects, there is good evidence that inhaled corticosteroids are prescribed not only to too many asthmatic children but also to children who do not have asthma or who have other wheezing disorders. This review will assess the evidence for the benefit of corticosteroids, their use, and current prescribing practices in the common wheezing disorders of childhood.

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