Leflein, J.G., Baker, J.W., Eigen, H. et al. Adv Therapy (2005) 22: 198. doi:10.1007/BF02849929
Early inhaled corticosteroid treatment improves symptom control and pulmonary function in children with asthma; however, long-term safety data are limited in infants and young children. This study assessed the long-term safety of budesonide inhalation suspension (BIS) in young children with persistent asthma. To continue to provide BIS to children who needed it—prior to US Food and Drug Administration approval—children 8 years of age or younger with mild, moderate, or severe persistent asthma who previously completed a 52-week open-label study of BIS were enrolled in an additional multicenter, open-label study that was to be concluded upon BIS approval. Patients already receiving BIS continued their current regimens. Patients younger than 4 years and those 4 years of age or older not receiving BIS at baseline started with total daily doses of 0.5 and 1.0 mg, respectively. BIS doses were adjusted throughout the study based on individual response. Adverse events and changes in laboratory parameters, vital signs, and physical examination findings were assessed. Of 198 enrolled patients, 152 (76.8%), 68 (34.3%), and 31 (15.7%) completed 1, 2, and 3 years of BIS treatment (mean daily dose 0.62±0.32 mg), respectively. One hundred sixty-six (83.8%) patients experienced an adverse event, of which 8.6% were considered by the investigator to be drug related. Adverse events were those typically occurring in a pediatric asthma population, with respiratory infection (49.0%) and sinusitis (25.3%) occurring at the greatest incidence. Only 2 patients withdrew due to adverse events. Mean changes in laboratory test results and physical examination findings were not clinically important throughout the study. Long-term BIS treatment is well tolerated in young children with persistent asthma, with a safety profile similar to that of short-term administration.