Inhaled asthma drug linked to permanent height loss

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Inhaled asthma drug linked to permanent height lossAn inhaled asthma drug taken by children to open their airways may permanently stunt their growth.

NBC News reports on a new study published in New England Journal of Medicine that shows children who took the inhaled drug budesonide were more likely to grow to be a half-inch shorter than normal. Budesonide is commonly marketed under the brand names Rhinocort or Pulmicort. As many as 6 million children take these inhaled drugs on a daily basis to relieve of symptoms common to asthmatics.

The latest research was based on study conducted about a decade ago that showed these drugs are generally safe and effective for controlling the symptoms of asthma but also noted that children who participated in the study appeared to be a full half-inch shorter than children who received another asthma drug.

This latest research, according to the report, shows that this effect may be permanent, even if a person stops taking the drug. The height effect only appeared to be present in children taking the drug.

The authors of the follow-up study stated that the benefits of inhaled corticosteroid drugs for asthmatics, especially children, likely would outweigh the detraction of being a half-inch shorter than normal.