ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
Fractures in Older Adults Up Death Risk
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
CANCER
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Caregiving May Lengthen Life
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Mediterranean Diet Helps Protect Aging Brain
Low Vitamin A, C Intake Tied to Asthma Risk
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
Arsenic in Drinking Water Raises Diabetes Risk
Fertilizer Ban Makes a Difference
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
FITNESS
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Run for Your Life
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Quick Orthopedic Repair Can Save Young Shoulders
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Natural Therapies for Menopause
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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