, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 133-143

The use of inhaled corticosteroids in children with asthma

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The inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) are the most effective long-term controllers for the treatment of childhood asthma. There is now substantial controlled clinical trial data to support the efficacy and safety of ICS therapy in infants and young children (6 months to 4 years of age). These data support the use of nebulizer suspension or metered-dose inhalers with valved holding chambers as effective forms of delivery in this age group. Currently, selection of delivery method depends on the comfort of the parent and the cooperation of the child, as well as on which drug the clinician chooses. The ICSs have a favorable safety profile when administered in currently recommended dosages. A transient 0.5- to 2-cm growth delay occurs in prepubescent children but does not appear to affect attainment of predicted adult height. Long-term trials support the existing recommendations of lowering dosage once control is achieved and stopping therapy when the child’s asthma is in remission.