ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
CANCER
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
DIET, NUTRITION
The High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Debate
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Breakfast Eggs Keep Folks on Diet
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
City Kids Find the Breathin' Is Easier Elsewhere
Disinfectants Can Boost Bacteria's Resistance to Treatment
Cats Can Trigger Eczema in Some Infants
EYE CARE, VISION
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
FITNESS
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Fall Cleanup Is a Prime Time for Accidents
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
Swine Flu May Have Infected More Than 100,000 Americans
Trans-Fat Ban In New York City Is Proving successful
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Coconut Oil May Help Fight Childhood Pneumonia
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Add your Article

Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of commonly used medications may ease the symptoms of bronchiolitis -- a virus-triggered condition that causes wheezing in babies.

New research suggests this treatment may reduce the risk of hospitalization by more than one-third, as well as stop wheezing sooner and get babies back to normal feeding sooner than either treatment alone or a placebo.

"Until this point, we've had no good treatment options for bronchiolitis, except for supplemental oxygen and extra fluids. In this study, we looked at two medications that have been used to treat bronchiolitis without great benefit when used separately. But, combining the two resulted in a reduction of hospitalizations," said study author Dr. Amy Plint, a pediatric emergency physician at Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, Canada.

Results of the study appear in the May 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Bronchiolitis is a common illness in very young children. About one in three youngsters in Western countries will have at least one episode of wheezing before turning 3, according to information in an editorial in the same issue of the journal. Most of this wheezing, the editorial authors pointed out, isn't the result of asthma. Instead, it is triggered by a virus.

Plint and her colleagues included 800 infants with bronchiolitis who were between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 months. The babies were randomly assigned to one of four groups: The first group was given two treatments of nebulized epinephrine and six oral doses of the corticosteroid dexamethasone for five days; the second received nebulized epinephrine and an oral placebo; the third group received a nebulized placebo and the oral dexamethasone; and the final group was given a nebulized and oral placebo treatment.

After seven days, 17.1 percent of babies in the double-treatment group had to be hospitalized. In comparison, 23.7 percent in the epinephrine-only group had to be admitted, 25.6 percent in the dexamethasone group were hospitalized, and 26.4 percent in the placebo group were admitted to the hospital.

The group that received the combination treatment also needed less medical care, stopped wheezing sooner, and returned to normal feeding sooner than babies in the other groups.

"I think we now have good evidence of a combined treatment that appears to have benefits in reducing hospitalizations and proving treatment benefits," said Plint.

Not everyone agrees, however.

The editorial authors wrote that, "Given the small effect size of the study -- 11 infants would have to be treated to prevent one hospital admission -- it does not seem practical to apply the treatment, especially considering the potential effects of high-dose corticosteroids on brain and lung development in such young children."

However, Plint said the treatment was well-tolerated, and there's no evidence in this age group that there are any neurodevelopmental effects from a short course of steroids. And, she pointed out, steroids are often given to help the lungs mature in premature infants.

"Parents should understand when looking at different treatment modalities, a combination of medications may be more effective than either one alone. But, more studies need to be done," said Dr. Jennifer Appleyard, chief of allergy and immunology at St. John Hospital in Detroit.

Appleyard said she is concerned, however, that if this combination becomes the treatment of choice in the emergency room that children who make multiple visits over the course of a viral season might end up getting repeated high doses of steroids.

Plint said that this combination treatment should only be used for a child's first episode of wheezing.

More information

To read more about bronchiolitis, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.



SOURCES: Amy Plint, M.D., pediatric emergency physician, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and associate professor, pediatrics and emergency medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada; Jennifer Appleyard, M.D., chief, allergy and immunology, St. John Hospital, Detroit; May 14, 2009, New England Journal of Medicine

Last Updated: May 13, 2009

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