Inhaled steroids suppress growth in children, conclude Cochrane reviewers

Two reviews of data about the effects on growth of corticosteroid inhalers in asthmatic children have reinforced guidance that the lowest effective dose should be given.

Corticosteroid inhalers could suppress growth in asthmatic children

Two reviews of data about the effects on growth of corticosteroid inhalers in asthmatic children have reinforced guidance that the lowest effective dose should be given.

Testing evidence that growth is suppressed by the medication, the Cochrane reviewers conducted two analyses. The first looked at 25 trials involving nearly 8,500 children up to the age of 18 with mild to moderate asthma. The average growth rate, which was 6-9 cm per year in control groups, was reduced by almost 0.5cm in groups using the treatment, but the review authors found that the benefits of the drugs outweighed the effect[1]
.  

The second review
looked at data from 22 trials in which children were treated with low or medium doses of inhaled corticosteroids and found that growth suppression varied across studies

[2]
.
 

References

[1]Zhang L, Prietsch SOM & Ducharme FM. Inhaled corticosteroids in children with persistent asthma: effects on growth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014;CD009471. 

[2]Pruteanu AI, Chauhan BF, Zhang L, Prietsch SOM & Ducharme FM. Inhaled corticosteroids in children with persistent asthma: dose-response effects on growth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014; 7:CD009878.

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Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 26 July/2 August 2014, Vol 293, No 7820/1;293(7820/1):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2014.20065897