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May 1980

Management of Acute Asthma in Childhood: A Randomized Evaluation of β-Adrenergic Agents

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine (Drs Schwartz, Lipton, Warburton, and Johnson) and the Division of Allergy (Dr Twarog), Children's Hospital Medical Center, Boston, and the Department of Pediatrics (Drs Schwartz, Lipton, Warburton, Johnson, and Twarog), Harvard Medical School, Boston. Dr Warburton is now with the Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(5):474-478. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130170024009

• We examined the efficacy of several β-adrenergic agents commonly used to treat asthma and evaluated the optimum route of administration. Two hundred and sixty-nine persons aged 5 to 21 years who came to the emergency ward while suffering from acute asthma were treated with either (1) inhalation isoetharine hydrochloride or (2) subcutaneous epinephrine or terbutaline sulfate. Patients were evaluated using clinical scores and pulmonary function tests and were monitored for adverse side effects. Regardless of mode of therapy, the acute attack was either treated successfully, terminated in hospital admission, or required further therapy within 24 hours in a comparable number of patients. Adverse side effects were more common with terbutaline sulfate than with either epinephrine or isoetharine in the doses used. Thus, inhalation of β-adrenergic agents is as effective as subcutaneous administration in the treatment of acute asthma in childhood.

(Am J Dis Child 134:474-478, 1980)

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