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Australas J Dermatol. 2014 Aug;55(3):209-11. doi: 10.1111/ajd.12156. Epub 2014 Mar 13.

Retrospective follow up of gross motor development in children using propranolol for treatment of infantile haemangioma at Sydney Children's Hospital.

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Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


Questions have been raised as to whether propranolol, which crosses the blood-brain barrier, when used early in life may have an adverse effect on gross motor development. A retrospective survey asking questions about gross motor development was sent to the families of children who had been prescribed oral propranolol for infantile haemangioma at Sydney Children's Hospital between 2008 and 2013. It was found that of the 84 patients surveyed, four were delayed in walking unassisted. There was a statistically significant influence if the child was taking other medications which included prednisolone, vincristine, omeprazole, ranitidine, salbutamol, Flixotide, Timoptol and antibiotics. This was not further analysed in this study because of the low numbers involved. There was no statistically significant influence of gestational age, birth weight or length of time on propranolol. This study adds to the retrospective data available; however large-scale prospective studies are needed to identify unexpected long-term side-effects.


gross motor development; infantile haemangioma; propranolol

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