Korean J Asthma Allergy Clin Immunol.  2007 Dec;27(4):209-216.

Steroid Therapy Safety for Asthmatic Children


The use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) has served as the most effective form of medication for children suffering from persistent asthma. The drugs have suppressive effects on chronic airway inflammation, which is a primary characteristic of asthma. It is generally accepted that steroid therapy is safe and effective at low to medium doses, but concerns on the topic of adverse systemic effects in children still remain. These concerns include the effects on bone density and adrenal axis suppression and on the general category of growth-suppressive effects. Studies show that most commercially available types of ICSs have small adverse effects on growth velocity, although no solid conclusions have been made on the permanent effects on final adult height. The adverse effects can be minimized by employing precautions such as utilizing the lowest effective dose, using a spacer, and rinsing the mouth to decrease the swallowed and gastrointestinally-bioavailable portion. In this manner, the safety and effectiveness of steroid therapy can be insured for children suffering from chronic asthma.

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