London: Kids with asthma who take corticosteroid drugs via inhalers run the risk of less growth, an study suggests.
"Children treated daily with inhaled corticosteroids may grow approximately half a centimetre less during the first year of treatment," said lead author Linjie Zhang from Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil.
In a new research, two new systematic reviews focused on the effects of inhaled corticosteroid drugs (ICS) on growth rates.
Inhaled corticosteroids are prescribed as first-line treatments for adults and children with persistent asthma.
The first systematic review focused on 25 trials involving 8,471 children up to 18-years-old with mild to moderate persistent asthma.
These trials showed that, as a group, inhalers suppressed growth rates when compared to placebos or non-steroidal drugs.
In the second review, researchers reviewed data from 22 trials in which children were treated with low or medium doses of inhaled corticosteroids.
In three trials, using lower doses of the inhaled corticosteroids improved growth by a quarter of a centimetre at one year.
"This effect is less pronounced in subsequent years and seems minor compared to the known benefits of the drugs for controlling asthma and ensuring full lung growth," Zhang added.
The authors recommend the minimal effective dose be used in children with asthma until further data on doses becomes available.
"Growth should be carefully documented in all children treated with inhaled corticosteroids," they concluded in the study published in the journal Cochrane Library.