ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back
CANCER
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
CAREGIVING
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
The Best Diet? That Depends on You
Functional Foods Uncovered
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Clear Skies Have Become Less So Over Time, Data Show
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
EYE CARE, VISION
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Brain Adapts to Age-Related Eye Disease
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
FITNESS
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
FDA Mandates New Warnings for Botox
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Hand-Washing Habits Still Need Improvement: Survey Says
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
SENIORS
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
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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