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September 1960

Prolonged Steroid Therapy in Childhood Asthma

Author Affiliations

Manchester, England
From the Thoracic Unit, Monsall Hospital, Manchester, England.

Am J Dis Child. 1960;100(3):341-352. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1960.04020040343006

Prednisolone was first used in the Leicester Chest Unit for the treatment of bronchial asthma in autumn, 1955. The drug proved effective in certain previously intractable cases, including several children. Within a year all severe, and many moderate cases, had received prednisolone. A certain number, many children, were found to require maintenance doses to keep them free from asthma.

This paper describes the results of giving, and the difficulties of stopping, such long-term steroid therapy for childhood asthma. The 39 asthmatic children involved were observed during two main phases: an initial period up to the end of September, 1957, when uninterrupted prednisolone was usually given; and a subsequent period up to the end of February, 1959, when determined attempts were made to discontinue the drug.

Material and Methods  Selection was fundamentally retrospective: all the children

  1. were under 15 years of age in September, 1957;

  2. had received daily prednisolone

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