Newer Treatments in the Management of Pediatric Asthma
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- Robinson, P.D. & Van Asperen, P. Pediatr Drugs (2013) 15: 291. doi:10.1007/s40272-013-0020-x
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Asthma control remains a significant challenge in the pediatric age range in which ongoing loss of lung function in children with persistent asthma has been reported, despite the use of regular preventer therapy. This has important implications for observed mortality and morbidity during adulthood. Over the past decade, there has been an emergence of other treatment adjuncts, such as anti-Immunoglobulin E (IgE)-directed therapy, low dose theophylline, and the use of macrolide antibiotics, yet their exact role in asthma management remains unclear, despite omalizumab now being incorporated into several international asthma guidelines. As with many aspects of pediatric care, this is driven by a lack of appropriately designed pediatric trials. Extrapolation of data reported in adult studies may be appropriate for adolescent asthma, but is not for younger age groups, in which important pathophysiological differences exist. Novel drugs under development offer potential for benefit in the future, but to date existing data are in most cases limited to adults. Pediatric asthma also offers unique potential to prevent or modify the underlying pathophysiology. Although attempts to do so have been unsuccessful to date, advances may yet come from this approach, as our understanding about the interaction between genetics, environmental factors, and viral illness improve. This review provides an overview of the newer treatment options available for management of pediatric asthma and discusses the merits of other novel therapies in development, as we search to optimize management and improve future outcomes.