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Logo of brjgenpracThe British Journal of General Practice
Br J Gen Pract. 2006 October 1; 56(531): 788–790.
PMCID: PMC1920720

High-dose inhaled corticosteroid use in childhood asthma: an observational study of GP prescribing

Mike Thomas, FRCP, Asthma UK Research Fellow
Department of General Practice and Primary Care, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen
Steve Turner, MD, Senior Lecturer
Department of Paediatrics; University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen
Dave Leather, FRCGP, Honorary Lecturer and David Price, FRCGP, GPIAG, Professor of Primary Care Respiratory Medicine


Inhaled corticosteroids are effective and safe treatments for childhood asthma in standard doses, yet at high dosages they may be associated with adverse events and suboptimal outcomes; add-on therapy is, therefore, recommended to minimise their use. We quantified prescribing of high-dose inhaled corticosteroids and add-on therapy in children in July 2003 and found that high-dose inhaled corticosteroids were prescribed to 10% of children aged 5–11 years and 6% of under-5's who were treated for asthma. Add-on therapy was lacking for almost half of these individuals. Some children were receiving treatment not in accord with current licences and evidence-based recommendations and, as such, may be at risk of adverse outcomes.

Keywords: asthma, child, database, pharmacoepidemiology, prescriptions, drug

Articles from The British Journal of General Practice are provided here courtesy of Royal College of General Practitioners