ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Ginkgo No Shield Against Alzheimer's
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Bone Loss Stable on Restricted Calorie Diet
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
Autumn Sees More Women With Bunion Problems
CANCER
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
CAREGIVING
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Eat Up, But Eat Healthy This Holiday Season
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
Dementia Underestimated in Developing Countries
What's Cookin'? It Could Be Air Pollution
EYE CARE, VISION
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
FITNESS
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Keep Fire Safety in Mind as You Celebrate
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Coffee Cuts Liver Scarring in Hepatitis C
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Optimism May Boost Immune System
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
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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