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Comparing Asthma Medications in Children: Dexamethasone vs. Methylprednisolone


Clinical trial shows Dexamethasone most advantageous for children with severe asthma

Asthma can be a serious health issue in children, particularly when it leads to hospitalization. Doctors often use medications like dexamethasone and methylprednisolone to treat severe asthma attacks in kids admitted to intensive care units. A clinical trial compared how well these two drugs work and how safe they are for treating severe asthma in children aged 5 to 17.

Clinical trial

The trial, which took place from April 2019 to December 2021, involved children admitted to the intensive care unit due to severe asthma. It aimed to compare two groups: one group received dexamethasone (called the intervention group), and the other group received methylprednisolone (referred to as the standard care group). Among the 92 children who took part, 31 were in the dexamethasone group, and 61 received methylprednisolone.


The intervention group got dexamethasone through an IV at a dose of 0.25 mg/kg/dose (up to a maximum of 15 mg/dose) every 6 hours for 48 hours. Meanwhile, the standard care group received methylprednisolone through an IV at a dose of 1 mg/kg/dose (up to a maximum of 60 mg/dose) every 6 hours for 5 days.


The trial compared various aspects, such as how long the children stayed in the hospital, how long they needed continuous albuterol treatment, how often they required additional asthma treatments, and whether they experienced side effects from the medications. Surprisingly, there were no major differences between the two groups in these areas.


Both medications appeared to work similarly well in managing severe asthma in children. The trial did not find any significant gaps in how long the children stayed in the hospital, how long they needed continuous albuterol treatment, or how often they required extra asthma treatments between those who got dexamethasone and those who received methylprednisolone.

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The trial also checked the safety of these medications. It found no significant differences in side effects related to the medications between the two groups. This suggests that both dexamethasone and methylprednisolone were equally well-tolerated by the children who took part in the trial.


However, one intriguing discovery was that more children who received methylprednisolone were given corticosteroids after leaving the hospital compared to those who got dexamethasone. This might indicate a possible difference in the treatment plan after leaving the hospital, depending on the medication used during the hospital stay.


This trial suggests that dexamethasone is as safe as methylprednisolone for treating severe asthma in hospitalized children. Even though both medications showed similar effectiveness and safety, the lower number of children who received corticosteroids after leaving the hospital in the dexamethasone group raises the possibility of an advantage that requires further investigation.


Further extensive research is needed to better understand how well dexamethasone works and its potential advantages over commonly used medications like methylprednisolone in treating severe asthma in children.

Consulting healthcare professionals remains vital for the proper management and treatment of severe asthma in children.



ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03900624

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.