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September 12, 1977

Ephedrine Therapy in Asthmatic Children

JAMA. 1977;238(11):1148-1149. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280120040008

To the Editor.—  Tinkelman and Avner claim to have demonstrated that "Ephedrine is a potent bronchodilator..." In point of fact, however, they have only demonstrated what has been repeatedly shown in the medical literature, ie, that ephedrine is a weak bronchodilator. It appears that their data have been presented in such a manner as to amplify the small amount of bronchodilator effect that has been recognized for ephedrine since 1925.First, I think we need to examine the pulmonary function data since this is the only area where the authors demonstrated any effect of ephedrine. Fig 1 and 2 in their paper present a somewhat distorted picture of what has actually happened to the pulmonary function in these patients. Instead of converting the changes in these patients' pulmonary function to a "percent changed" value, the data can be plotted directly as the mean pulmonary function data over the six hours