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Pediatr Pulmonol. 2005 Jan;39(1):74-83.

Optimizing inhaled corticosteroid therapy in children with chronic asthma.

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Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


Asthma is the most common chronic illness among children, and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are the most effective long-term therapy available for suppressing airway inflammation in persistent asthma. While the primary aim of ICS therapy is good efficacy with minimal side effects, early diagnosis and treatment of asthma can also improve asthma control and normalize lung function, and may prevent irreversible airway injury. Poor patient compliance is a major barrier to treatment. Simplified dosing regimens (e.g., once-daily administration), good inhaler technique, and education of the patient/caregiver should improve patient compliance. Concerns over ICS therapy are often based on the potential for systemic effects associated with oral corticosteroids (e.g., effects on bone mineral density, or growth suppression in children). Since adverse events are associated with high doses of ICS, the dose in all patients should be titrated to the minimum effective dose required to maintain control. Optimal distribution of an ICS in the lungs rather than the systemic compartment is affected by several factors, including the drug's pharmacokinetic profile, inhaler type, inhaler technique, and drug particle size. For young patients unable to use a dry-powder inhaler or pressurized metered-dose inhaler, a nebulizer facilitates drug delivery through passive inhalation; ICS therapy in the form of budesonide inhalation suspension can be given to children with persistent asthma from 12 months of age. In conclusion, selecting a drug with good efficacy and minimal side effects, such as budesonide, together with an easy-to-use delivery system and ongoing patient/caregiver education, is important in optimizing ICS therapy for children with persistent asthma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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