Although nebulized corticosteroids (NebCSs) are a key treatment option for young children with asthma or viral-induced wheezing (VIW), there are no uniform recommendations on their best use. This systematic review aimed to clarify the role of NebCSs in children 5 years or younger for the management of acute asthma exacerbations, asthma maintenance therapy, and the treatment of VIW. Electronic databases were used to identify relevant English language articles with no date restrictions. Studies reporting efficacy data in children 5 years or younger, with a double-blind, placebo- or open-controlled, randomized design, and inclusion of 40 or more participants (no lower patient limit for VIW) were included. Ten articles on asthma exacerbation, 9 on asthma maintenance, and 7 on VIW were identified. Results showed NebCSs to be at least as efficacious as oral corticosteroids in the emergency room for the management of mild to moderate asthma exacerbations. In asthma maintenance, nebulized budesonide, the agent of focus in all trials analyzed, significantly reduced the risk of further asthma exacerbations compared with placebo, cromolyn sodium, and montelukast. Intermittent NebCS treatment of VIW was as effective as continuous daily treatment. In summary, NebCSs are effective and well tolerated in patients 5 years or younger for the management of acute and chronic asthma.
Murphy, K. R., Hong, J. G., Wandalsen, G., Larenas-Linnemann, D., El Beleidy, A., Zaytseva, O. V., & Pedersen, S. E. (2020). Nebulized Inhaled Corticosteroids in Asthma Treatment in Children 5 Years or Younger: A Systematic Review and Global Expert Analysis. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2020.01.042