Growth and adrenal suppression in asthmatic children on moderate to high doses of fluticasone propionate

J Paediatr Child Health. 2002 Feb;38(1):59-62. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1754.2002.00717.x.


Objective: Growth and adrenal suppression have been reported in asthmatic children using high-dose inhaled fluticasone propionate (FP). Inhaled FP, given at moderate doses (250-750 microg/day), has not been documented to be associated with growth or adrenal suppression in asthmatic children until recently. We report three cases illustrating these side effects.

Methods: Growth and adrenal suppression, after the introduction of inhaled FP, were observed in three prepubertal young asthmatic children referred to our asthma clinic and growth clinic. Growth centile and velocity were assessed by longitudinal stadiometry height measurements. Early morning plasma cortisol levels, and glucagon stimulation tests were used to assess the pituitary adrenal axis.

Results: Severe growth and adrenal suppression were noted in three children while they were on moderate doses of inhaled FP. Improvements in growth and adrenal function were observed following cessation or dose reduction of inhaled FP.

Conclusions: Unexpected growth and adrenal suppression may occur in young asthmatic children using moderate doses of inhaled FP.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adrenal Glands / drug effects*
  • Adrenal Glands / physiopathology
  • Androstadienes / administration & dosage*
  • Androstadienes / adverse effects
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / adverse effects
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child Development / drug effects*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Fluticasone
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Victoria


  • Androstadienes
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Fluticasone