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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


AMANTEA, Sérgio Luís; SANCHEZ, Ignacio; PIVA, Jefferson Pedro  and  GARCIA, Pedro Celiny Ramos. Controversies in the pharmacological management of acute asthma in children. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2002, vol.78, suppl.2, pp.151-160. ISSN 0021-7557.

Objective: to present a review of controversial issues related to the pharmacological management of the treatment of acute asthma in children. Sources: articles published in national and international scientific journals. Data were selected from Lilacs and Medline databases. Summary of the findings: the article was organized into topics, presenting aspects on which there is consensus regarding the pharmacological treatment of asthma in children. Issues related to the use of metered dose inhaler versus nebulizers, the role of ß2-adrenergic drugs administered intravenously as well as the role of methylxanthine and magnesium sulfate are approached critically. Conclusions: Inhaled ß2-agonist drugs combined with corticosteroids remain the treatment of choice for acute episodes of asthma in children. Either nebulizers or metered dose inhalers connected to spacers are efficient for the relief of acute symptoms. Patients who are refractory to conventional treatment and develop severe acute asthma should receive ß2-agonist drugs intravenously, provided they are properly monitored. Methylxanthine and magnesium sulfate should be considered a second choice for selected patients.

Keywords : acute asthma; beta-agonist; magnesium sulfate; aminophylline.

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