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J Pediatr. 2003 Dec;143(6):725-30.

Oral prednisolone in the acute management of children age 6 to 35 months with viral respiratory infection-induced lower airway disease: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

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Department of Pharmacy, University of Tampere School of Public Health and Research Unit, and the Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.



To investigate the efficacy of oral prednisolone in virally induced respiratory distress. Study design Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 230 children age 6 to 35 months in the emergency department. Each patient received either oral prednisolone (2 mg/kg/d) or placebo for 3 days.


The hospitalization rates were similar between the two groups. For admitted children (n=123), the median length of stay was 1 day shorter in the prednisolone group (2 vs 3 days, P=.060). The proportion of children requiring >or=3 days of hospitalization was 47.5% in the prednisolone group and 67.7% in the placebo group (P=.023). There was less need for additional asthma medication (18.0% vs 37.1%, P=.018) in the prednisolone group. The median duration of symptoms of respiratory distress was 1 day in the prednisolone group versus 2 days in the placebo group both among the hospitalized (P<.001) and nonhospitalized children (P=.006).


A 3-day course of oral prednisolone effectively reduced disease severity, length of hospital stay, and the duration of symptoms among children 6 to 35 months old with virally induced respiratory distress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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