Effect of long-term treatment with inhaled corticosteroids and beta-agonists on the bronchial responsiveness in children with asthma

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1987 Apr;79(4):653-9. doi: 10.1016/s0091-6749(87)80163-x.


Airway inflammation is assumed to be an important determinant in increased bronchial responsiveness (BR). We tested the hypothesis that treatment with an inhaled anti-inflammatory drug (i.e., budesonide) but not with an inhaled beta-agonist (i.e., terbutaline) would reduce BR in children with asthma and with minimal or no bronchoconstriction. Twelve patients were treated with budesonide and seven with terbutaline for 6 months. BR decreased in 11 patients receiving budesonide and was significant in seven patients. BR decreased in none of the patients receiving terbutaline. FEV1 demonstrated a small increase with budesonide but remained unchanged with terbutaline. Except in one patient who received terbutaline, the clinical effect was good. We conclude that inhaled corticosteroids but not inhaled beta-agonists will decrease persistent BR in most children with asthma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Bronchi / drug effects
  • Bronchi / physiopathology*
  • Budesonide
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methacholine Chloride
  • Methacholine Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Pregnenediones / therapeutic use
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Terbutaline / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Methacholine Compounds
  • Pregnenediones
  • Methacholine Chloride
  • Budesonide
  • Terbutaline