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Inhaled budesonide and prednisone led to similar rates of asthma relapse after emergency department discharge

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 QUESTION: In patients who are discharged from the emergency department after a severe acute asthma attack, do high doses of prednisone and inhaled budesonide lead to similar rates of asthma relapse?


Randomised (unclear allocation concealment*), blinded {clinicians, patients, outcome assessors, and statisticians},* controlled trial with 7–10 day follow up.


3 university affiliated urban emergency departments in Canada.


185 patients who were 15–70 years of age, had an acute asthma exacerbation, were well enough to be discharged (postbronchodilator FEV1 > 50% of predicted normal rate), and were able to use Turbuhaler correctly. Exclusion criteria included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, intolerance to systemic glucocorticosteroids, peptic ulcer disease, active tuberculosis, fungal infection, type 1 diabetes mellitus, moderate to severe hypertension, pregnancy, lactation, or no effective contraception use …

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  • Source of funding: Astra Pharma Inc.

  • For correspondence: Dr J M FitzGerald, Respiratory Clinic, Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre, 2775 Heather Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V5Z 1J5, Canada. Fax +1 604 875 4695.

  • * See glossary.

  • Information provided by author.