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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2014 Nov;27(17):1809-15. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2013.876620. Epub 2014 Jan 30.

The use of intravenous and inhaled magnesium sulphate in management of children with bronchial asthma.

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Pediatrics Department, College of Medicine , Dammam University, Dammam , Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood and the leading cause of childhood morbidity. When uncontrolled, asthma can place significant limits on daily life, and is sometimes fatal. The use of magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) is one of numerous treatment options available during acute severe asthma in children. The efficacy of intravenous, or inhaled MgSO4 has been demonstrated, while little is known about the actual clinical use of either intravenous (IV) or inhaled MgSO4.


To assess the effectiveness of intravenous (IV) and/or inhaled MgSO4 on hospital admissions and pulmonary function in children with asthma. This systematic review assessed the best available evidence for the use of either intravenous or inhaled MgSO4 in children with acute asthma. Magnesium deficiency is a common electrolyte disorder in children with acute severe asthma. Several authors reported that IV magnesium was effective in the treatment of moderate to acute asthma in children but evidence for nebulised magnesium was insufficient. In addition, it is used in severe, progressed cases to prevent respiratory failure and/or admission to the intensive care unit. It has bronchodilating and anti-inflammatory effects and modulates ion transport and influences intracellular calcium concentration. Intravenous MgSO4 therapy helps in achieving earlier improvement in clinical signs and symptoms of asthma, e.g. respiratory function and significantly reduced hospital admission, in children with acute severe asthma. The role of nebulised MgSO4 in asthmatic children requires further investigation.


According to the previous studies, the author recommends the use of intravenous MgSO4 as a safe and effective adjunct to conventional bronchodilator therapy in acute severe asthma in children.


Bronchial asthma; children; intravenous and inhaled magnesium sulphate

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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