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Review: inhaled corticosteroids reduce hospital admission and increase discharge rate during the first 4 hours in the emergency department for acute asthma

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 Q In children and adults with acute asthma, are inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) more effective than placebo or systemic corticosteroids (SCSs) for clinical outcomes during the first 4 hours in the emergency department (ED)?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ IM/Ambulatory care ★★★★★★☆ Emergency medicine ★★★★★★☆ Respirology ★★★★★★☆ Paediatrics (general) ★★★★★★☆


Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline (1966 to February 2006), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1974 to February 2006), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (issue 1, 2006), references of included studies and reviews, hand searching of top 20 respiratory and emergency care journals, and unpublished data.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in any language that compared ICSs (beclomethasone, dexamethasone, flunisolide, budesonide, or fluticasone) with placebo or SCSs, added to a β2 agonist; or compared ICSs plus SCSs with SCSs, added to a β2 agonist in …

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  • For correspondence: Dr G J Rodrigo, Clinica Respirar, Montevideo, Uruguay. gurodrig{at}

  • Source of funding: not stated.