Washington: A new study has revealed that inhalers that are used to give corticosteroid drugs to children with asthma may suppress their growth in the first year of treatment.
Linjie Zhang, who is based at the Faculty of Medicine at the Federal University of Rio Grande in Rio Grande, Brazil said that the evidence they reviewed suggested that children treated daily with inhaled corticosteroids may grow approximately half a centimetre less during the first year of treatment but this effect was less pronounced in subsequent years, was not cumulative, and seemed minor compared to the known benefits of the drugs for controlling asthma and ensuring full lung growth.
Inhaled corticosteroids are prescribed as first-line treatments for adults and children with persistent asthma and they are the most effective drugs for controlling asthma and clearly reduce asthma deaths, hospital visits and the number and severity of exacerbations, and improve quality of life.
Zhang added that conclusions about the superiority of one drug over another should be confirmed by further trials that directly compared the drugs.
Francine Ducharme, one of the authors of both reviews and senior author of the second review, based at the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Montreal in Montreal, Canada said that only 14percent of the trials they looked at monitored growth in a systematic way for over a year.