New Treatment for Preschoolers with Acute Wheezing

Most acute wheezing episodes in preschool children lead to airway dehydration. Together with other factors, airway dehydration causes the body to have trouble clearing mucus. These children do not respond well to available treatments. A new study published in the journal Pediatrics evaluated the effect of administering inhaled hypertonic saline to wheezing preschool children, which promotes airway hydration and thus mucus clearance [1].

Breathing treatment
Creative Commons License photo credit: MinivanNinja

FDA Removing Over-the-counter Asthma Drug From Shelves for Environment

Users of Primatene Mist, the only over-the-counter treatment for acute symptoms of asthma, will need to find an alternative as of December 31, 2011. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that the medication will no longer be available because it uses chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as a propellant agent [1], and CFCs have long been known to deplete Earth’s ozone layer.

Primatine Mist spray

A Step Toward Personalized Asthma Treatment, Gene Variant Linked to Drug Response

Inhaled corticosteroids are used by millions of asthma patients every day. However, as with all treatments to control asthma, there is marked patient-to-patient variability in the response to treatment. New research published today in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has identified a genetic variant associated with the response to inhaled corticosteroids [1]. Investigators have found that asthma patients who have two copies of a specific gene variant responded only one-third as well to steroid inhalers as those with two copies of the regular gene.

Asthmatic using an inhaler