ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
Tips to Ease an Aching Back
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
CANCER
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
CAREGIVING
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Caffeine May Offer Some Skin Cancer Protection
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Eating Less May Slow Aging Process
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Global Warming May Bring More Respiratory Woes
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
EYE CARE, VISION
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries
FITNESS
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
FDA Mandates New Warnings for Botox
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Internet Program Helps Problem Drinkers
Maximize Your Run
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
SENIORS
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
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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