Not All Medicines Created Equal

Steroid inhalers can be very useful for children with moderate or severe asthma. They can reduce inflammation in the lungs, prevent asthma flare-ups, and reduce the need for other asthma medicines. Two different steroids are commonly used fluticasone and beclomethasone.

A study in the Nov. 2001 issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine looked at 343 children with asthma who were randomly assigned to be treated with one of the two drugs. Those who received the beclomethasone grew significantly more slowly than those on fluticasone (growing an average of 3/8 inch less per year). And, as a bonus, the fluticasone was more effective at treating the asthma.

When inhaled steroids are needed, I prefer fluticasone for kids, both for treating asthma and as nasal inhalers for treating allergies.

Published on: November 20, 2001
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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