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Efficacy of Nebulised Budesonide versus Oral Prednisolone in Acute Severe Asthma

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To compare the efficacy of nebulised budesonide with that of oral prednisone in the treatment of acute severe asthma in children.


Children aged 5–12 y with acute exacerbation of bronchial asthma were included. The study (budesonide) group received budesonide respirator solution (800 μg) at intervals of 20 min and a single dose of placebo tablets. The control (prednisolone) group received placebo solution at intervals of 20 min and a single dose of oral prednisolone (2 mg/kg). Both groups received three doses of nebulised salbutamol (0.15 mg/kg). Heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, PEFR (Peak Expiratory Flow Rate) and fitness for discharge were assessed.


Both groups showed a progressive decrease in tachycardia with treatment, but it was significantly greater in study group (p = 0.0002). There was significant decrease in tachypnea and improvement in oxygen saturation in both groups, but the difference between the groups (p = 0.334 and p = 0.814 respectively) was not significant. There was significant improvement in PEFR values in budesonide group (p = 0.024). Both groups showed significant improvement in clinical severity scores at the end of 2 h (p < 0.0001). Budesonide group had significantly higher proportion of patients fit for discharge at 2 h (based on clinical severity scores) (p = 0.0278).


Nebulised budesonide significantly improves PEFR levels and fitness for discharge at 2 h when compared to oral prednisolone in children between 5 and 12 y with acute severe asthma.

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CSA and CR were involved in the study design, protocol, data collection and statistical analysis. IS, BS, SP and JH were involved in study design, data collection and interpretation of data. TA reviewed the literature, did statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript which was critically reviewed and approved by all authors. CR will act as the guarantor of the paper.

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Correspondence to Thirunavukkarasu Arun Babu.

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Arulparithi, C.S., Babu, T.A., Ravichandran, C. et al. Efficacy of Nebulised Budesonide versus Oral Prednisolone in Acute Severe Asthma. Indian J Pediatr 82, 328–332 (2015).

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