Inhaled asthma drug linked to permanent height loss


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.