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The use of inhaled corticosteroids in the wheezy under 5-year-old child
  1. B R Davies1,
  2. W D Carroll2
  1. 1Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Derbyshire Children's Hospital, Derby, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Will D Carroll, Derbyshire Children's Hospital, Uttoxeter Road, Derby DE22 3NE, UK; will.carroll{at}


Inhaled corticosteroids are established as the most effective long-term anti-inflammatory therapy for asthma. National and international treatment guidelines recommend the use of these agents for long-term asthma control in children. In children <5 years, there are significant difficulties in diagnosing asthma. There are multiple non-asthma causes of wheeze, and there remains a lack of consensus in the description of wheezing phenotypes in this group of children. There is also a relative paucity of data concerning the short- and long-term effectiveness and side-effects in the under-fives: treatment recommendations have drawn heavily from experience of asthma treatment in school-age children and remains controversial. This article discusses the important recent advances in the evidence-base and current expert opinions which are helping to delineate improved outcomes for young children with wheeze.

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  • Competing interests BRD has no potential conflict of interests. WDC has received payment for advisory board work and speaker fees from GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Sharpe Dome, Nycomed, Novartis and Schering Plough.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.