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Oral Steroids Ineffective in the Treatment of Preschool Virus-Induced Wheezing

Posted Jan 25 2009 3:45pm

A new study from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry has found that a common treatment for wheezing in preschool children is no more effective than a placebo.

The findings, reported in the January edition of The New England Journal of Medicine, call into question national guidelines for the treatment of viral-induced wheezing.

Attacks of wheezing caused by viral infections in the upper respiratory tract are common in preschool children between the ages of ten months and six years. Preschool children who visit hospital with such symptoms are commonly treated with a short course of prednisolone - a steroid which is used to reduce inflammation in the airway and which is very effective in treating attacks of allergic asthma in older children and adults.

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