Reports From the Field

Asthma medication approved for young children

AstraZeneca in Wayne, PA, recently announced that its new asthma medication for young children and infants has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Pulmicort Respules is the first asthma treatment approved for children and infants as young as 12 months. It is also the first corticosteroid available as a nebulized formulation.

Previously, inhaled corticosteroid therapy was only approved for children 4 years of age and older and typically was administered with an asthma inhaler, which few children are able to use properly, says Frank Casty, MD, executive director of respiratory and inflammation at AstraZeneca.

"Now with the approval of Pulmicort Respules, physicians will have a way to administer inhaled corticosteroid therapy in infants and young children," he says, adding that Pulmicort Respules is a preventive medication that helps control asthma, not a quick-relief medication for use during an asthma attack.

In three 12-week double-blind clinical trials involving 946 children ages 12 months to 8 years, Pulmicort Respules reduced the need for bronchodilators and improved nighttime and daytime asthma symptoms.

Prescribing information is available by calling (800) 942-0424, ext. 1974.