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Many studies have shown that regular use of inhaled corticosteroids improves asthma control in children with asthma. However, intermittent therapy with inhaled corticosteroids is common practice in the community1 as many physicians and families are reluctant to administer inhaled corticosteroids long term. Several previous studies have examined this approach and have generally not found it to be convincingly effective. The investigators wished to evaluate the efficacy of this approach in children potentially ready to be ‘weaned off’ inhaled corticosteroids. Their findings add to the body of literature evaluating the efficacy of intermittent therapy with inhaled corticosteroids in children with mild, persistent asthma.
This was a large, multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that employed a two-by-two factorial design. Between January 2007 and May 2009, the study enrolled children aged 6–18 years with a history mild, persistent asthma for the previous 2 years, who were felt to be eligible for ‘weaning’ off their controller therapy because of good asthma control. Children with severe, recent or frequent exacerbations or who required moderate doses of inhaled corticosteroids were excluded. After a 4-week run-in period on beclomethasone-hydrofluoroalkane …
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