Comparison of nebulized adrenaline versus salbutamol in wheeze associated respiratory tract infection in infants

Indian Pediatr. 2002 Jan;39(1):12-22.


Objective: (i) To assess the efficacy of bronchodilators in wheeze associated respiratory tract infection (WRTI); and (ii) To compare L-adrenaline with salbutamol in wheeze associated respiratory tract infection.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Method: Ninety one children in age group of 2 months to 2 years with their 1st or 2nd episode of wheezing in association with fever and/or coryza were enrolled. Of these, 45 received L-adrenaline (0.1ml/kg/dose in 1 in 10,000 solution) (Group A) and 46 received salbutamol (0.1mg/kg/dose) (Group B). Three doses of each drug were given, nebulized with oxygen at 20 minutes intervals. Respiratory rate, RDAI score, clinical status and pulse oxymetry was recorded before intervention and 10 minutes after each dose. Patients who showed significant relief were discharged after an observation period of three hours while those who did not were admitted.

Results: Both L-adrenaline and salbutamol caused significant improvement in mean symptom score and oxygenation. However, the adrenaline group showed a significantly better improvement in the study parameters than the salbutamol group. More children in the adrenaline group could be sent home after the emergency treatment.

Conclusion: Adrenergic agonists both specific and non specific are beneficial in WRTI. Adrenaline is more effective than salbutamol and is thus a better, inexpensive and relatively safe alternative.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Albuterol / therapeutic use*
  • Bronchiolitis, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Epinephrine / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male


  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Albuterol
  • Epinephrine