Inhaled corticosteroid therapy for asthma - Clinical Briefs - Brief Article

Author: Carrie Morantz, Brian Torrey
Date: March 1, 2004

Inhaled corticosteroid therapy remains the gold standard of asthma treatment, according to a new report released by the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. "Systematic Review of the Evidence Regarding Potential Complications of Inhaled Corticosteroid Use in Asthma" appears in the December 2003 issue of Chest and is available online at http://www.chest journal.org/cgi/reprint/124/6/2329.

A panel of experts and representatives from the three professional associations identified critical questions that impact decisions regarding the use of inhaled corticosteroid therapy in relation to the five adult and pediatric risk areas of bone mineral density (BMD), cataracts, glaucoma, growth retardation, and skin thinning. Overall, the panel concluded that the benefits associated with inhaled corticosteroid therapy greatly exceed the risks.

In regard to the effect of inhaled corticosteroid therapy on BMD, the panel strongly supported the conclusion that inhaled corticosteroid therapy is not associated with a reduction in BMD in children with asthma. The panel also supported the conclusion that inhaled corticosteroid therapy is associated with skin thinning and easy bruising in adults and children, but that dosage, duration of use, and patient gender are important variables affecting overall risk.

In addition, the panel fully supported the conclusion that inhaled corticosteroid therapy is associated with a decrease in short-term growth rates in children, but that the overall effect is small and may not be sustained with long-term therapy. Conclusions regarding the effect of inhaled corticosteroid therapy on BMD in adults and the effect of inhaled corticosteroid therapy on the development of cataracts and glaucoma were insubstantial because they were supported only by conflicting or insufficient data.

COPYRIGHT 2004 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

 
© 2006, DrPlace.com, All Rights Reserved.