NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Mar 12 – There is no significant increase in the activity level of preschool children following administration of nebulized salbutamol for asthma, according to a report in the March issue of the Archives of Diseases in Childhood.
Dr. I. Hadjikoumi, of St. Thomas' School of Medicine, London, UK, and colleagues investigated the common assertion of parents of children with asthma that nebulized salbutamol causes hyperactivity.
Nineteen children (mean age 48.3 months) with asthma were randomly assigned to either salbutamol or placebo, with the alternate treatment given at a second visit 1 week later. Parents and observers, including a pediatrician and a child psychiatric nurse, were blinded to the treatment administered to the children.
At each visit, the observers used the Preschool Behavioral Observation Schedule (PS-BOS) to rate the child's activity level during play with a standardized set of toys before and after inhalation of salbutamol or placebo.
"There was a high level of inter-rater reliability between the two observers on the PS-BOS, enabling the average score to be used in the data analysis," the researchers report. "This measure revealed no evidence of an increase in the child's activity after administration of salbutamol."