More than 10% of children have asthma and generally use a prescribed puffer. These puffers allow the child to inhale steroids, but they can have adverse effects.
A new study compared the long-term or intermittent steroid use. They followed 300 children aged 1-5 years, in two groups:
- One group was given a low dose of inhaled steroids to use continuously
- The other group was given a higher dose, but only used the puffer when symptoms initiated.
After 12 months, the group with a higher dose consumed had less steroids in total.
This group did not differ in hospitalization for asthma or measures of growth.
The investigators concluded that higher does of steroids intermittently might be a better choice for children with asmtha.