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The role of parent-initiated oral corticosteroids in preschool wheeze and school-aged asthma

Vuillermin, Peter J; Robertson, Colin F; South, Mike

Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology: June 2011 - Volume 11 - Issue 3 - p 187–191
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e3283461709
Outcome measures: Edited by Henry Milgrom and Ralph Mosges

Purpose of review: To review the theoretical background and current evidence regarding parent-initiated oral corticosteroid (PIOCS) therapy in preschool wheeze and asthma in school-aged children.

Recent findings: In school-aged children with asthma PIOCS, given during acute episodes, has been associated with a modest reduction in asthma symptoms and health resource utilisation. In preschool wheeze, OCS (including PIOCS) therapy appears to be ineffective.

Summary: PIOCS is associated with modest benefits among school-aged children with acute asthma but is not effective among children with preschool wheeze. In older children with asthma, the potential benefits of PIOCS must be balanced against potential adverse effects associated with increased OCS administration.

aChild Health Research Unit, Barwon Health, Geelong, Australia

bDepartment of Respiratory Medicine, Australia

cDepartment of General Medicine, The Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia

Correspondence to Dr Peter Vuillermin, Child Health Research Unit, Barwon Health, P.O. Box 281, Ryrie Street, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia Tel: +61 3 5260 3044; fax: +61 3 5226 7953; e-mail:

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