Pediatric asthma patients given a certain inhaled corticosteroid had a 29 percent lower risk of ending up in emergency

A study presented today at the 100th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in Orlando shows pediatric asthma patients given a certain inhaled corticosteroid had a 29 percent lower risk of ending up in the emergency department (ED) or being admitted into the hospital. The studied drug, Pulmicort Repsules® (budesonide inhalation suspension), uses a nebulizer to deliver the medication to children, making the delivery more consistent.  It is the first and only inhaled corticosteroid approved for children with asthma 12 months to 4 years of age.

“Parents of children experiencing asthma attacks often rush their children to the emergency department as much as four or five times a year,” said Carlos A. Camargo, MD, Dr.PH, Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and study lead investigator. “This study is important because it showed that children with asthma who used Pulmicort Repsules experienced a lower risk of a life-threatening visit to the emergency department.”

About The Study

The study evaluated the rate of hospitalization (either ED visit or admission) of asthmatic children following an initial hospital visit, as it related to 12 factors. Using a population of 10,176 children up to age eight identified through an independent database, researchers analyzed asthma-related prescription claims in the first 30 days following the initial hospital visit.  This information was used to determine the relationship of asthma therapy to hospital visits in this patient population.  The study found that 13 percent of children suffering from asthma had to be treated in an ED or hospitalized within six months of an initial hospitalization or ED visit. 

“The outcome of the study using Pulmicort Repsules may have been a result of using a nebulizer, which allowed young patients to receive their medication more consistently,” said Dr. Camargo.

About Pulmicort Repsules

Pulmicort Repsules is a preventive type medicine. Pulmicort Repsules is not a quick-relief medicine (bronchodilator) and should NOT be used to treat an asthma attack. 

In clinical studies, the side effects experienced with Pulmicort Repsules and how often they happened were similar to what was experienced with a nonmedicated mist (placebo). These side effects were not necessarily a result of taking Pulmicort Repsules and included respiratory infection, runny nose, coughing, earache, viral infection, stomachache, oral thrush and nosebleeds.  If your child is exposed to chicken pox or measles, consult your child's health care professional. If your child is switching to Pulmicort Repsules from an oral (syrup or pill) corticosteroid, carefully follow the health care professional's instructions. This will help your child avoid health risks that may be linked with stopping the use of oral corticosteroids.

For more information on the symptoms and triggers of asthma, as well as potential treatment options, parents can visit

About Childhood Asthma

Asthma has become a serious problem in the United States, especially among children.  In the year 2000, asthma resulted in 728,000 emergency department (ED) visits and 214,000 hospitalizations in patients under age 18,  and ED and hospitalization rates were highest among children 4 years of age and younger,  despite improvements in currently available asthma medications.  Experts are unsure why this is the case, although one potential indicator is the lack of awareness and education about childhood asthma.  Asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15, and it is the most common chronic medical condition.

Approximately 6.3 million children under 18 years of age have asthma, which makes it the leading serious chronic illness among children. Asthma is also the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15 and the number one cause of school absenteeism attributed to a chronic condition.  Although asthma can be a life-threatening disease if not properly managed, the mild to moderate asthma that most children have can be controlled by treatment at home or in the doctor’s office.

Common symptoms of childhood asthma include coughing either constant or intermittent; wheezing or a whistling sound audible when your child exhales; shortness of breath or rapid breathing, which may or may not be associated with exercise; and chest tightness. Triggers of asthma range from smoke, airborne molds, pollens, dust, animal dander, exercise, cold air, many household and industrial products, air pollutants, scents or simple stress.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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