Safety of inhaled corticosteroids in children with asthma

Curr Opin Pediatr. 2001 Dec;13(6):523-7. doi: 10.1097/00008480-200112000-00005.


Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) have become the mainstay of therapy in chronic childhood asthma. Despite the long history and the documented efficacy of these drugs in controlling asthma, concerns still abound regarding the safety of these drugs in children, most specifically related to the potential for adrenal suppression and growth retardation. Recently published studies suggest that adrenal function remains intact when low and moderate doses of these drugs are used. Long-term studies of growth in children suggest that despite an initial decrease in growth velocity, ultimate adult height is not affected significantly by the use of ICS. Other complications of glucocorticoids are not usually seen with low and moderate doses. With proper monitoring and follow-up observation, asthma control can be achieved with these drugs in a safe and effective manner.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Asthma / prevention & control
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Child
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / drug effects
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiopathology
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / drug effects
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiopathology


  • Glucocorticoids