Study: Asthma Inhaler use in Children Stunts Growth

Child with inhaler

The Guardian recently covered two asthma studies regarding inhaler usage and growth in children. The studies were conducted by Francine Ducharme, a pediatrician at the University of Montreal. The first study analyzed published inhaler usage trials of over 8,400 children. Results showed that the growth rate for children under 18 without steroid usage exceeded the growth rate for children using steroids by approximately half a centimeter per year.

The second study followed children who were taking medication doses between 50 to 200 micrograms of inhalable steroids. The children who took higher doses were at an increased risk of stunted growth.

Children who use inhalable steroids for asthma grow slower than their peers in the first year of taking the medication, researchers say.

But doctors said the effect was so small it was easily outweighed by the clear benefits of taking the drugs, which prevent serious asthma attacks and even deaths from the breathing disorder.

Children who used the common corticosteroids to alleviate their asthma symptoms grew on average half a centimetre less over the course of a year, compared with children who did not take the medicine.

The steroids seemed to affect children’s growth only in the first year and had even less of an impact on their growth rate when used in low doses of no more than 100 micrograms.

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New Inhaled Drug Could Potentially Relieve Asthma and Allergy Symptoms

WebMDreports a new drug called quilizumab has the potential to treat mild asthma and allergy symptoms. The drug, targets blood cells that produce immunoglobulin type E (IgE), a protein that causes allergic reactions. In an initial study, the drug reduced total levels of IgE in patients suffering from mild asthma or allergic reactions. The levels of IgE were kept low for a month on the drug. Results also show that production of IgE was not only reduced but stopped in some cases. In early stages of testing, the drug only seems to be working with mild asthma and not with moderate to severe cases. Quilizumab is aiming to replace its rival, omalizumab, which requires one to three injections every two to four weeks. Quilizumab, on the other hand, only requires one inhalation approximately every three months.

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A new inhaled medication has the potential to treat mildasthma andallergies by interrupting the production of an immune system protein that triggers allergic reactions, a new study reports.

The drug, quilizumab, targets the blood cells that produce a protein called immunoglobulin type E (IgE), that serves a key role in allergies.

Quilizumab lowered total levels of IgE in theblood of people with allergies and mild asthma, and kept them low for a month, researchers report in the July 2 issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.

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