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Inhaled steroids slow growth in children

MagazineMarch 1998 (Vol. 8 Issue 12)Inhaled steroids slow growth in children

More evidence that inhaled steroids carry the same risks as the oral kind

More evidence that inhaled steroids carry the same risks as the oral kind. New research shows that children treated with the inhaled corticosteroid beclomethasone grow at a slower rate than those given a placebo or salmeterol.

Growth retardation is a common side effect of oral steroids, but the medical profession has always maintained that inhaled steroids don't carry this risk. However, in these new studies, conducted on 240 9 year olds, children were randomly given either beclomethasone, salmeterol or placebo for one year. The results show that children given beclomethasone had grown 3.96 cm, compared with 5.04 cm for placebo and 5.4 cm for children given salmeterol (N Engl J Med, 1997; 337: 1659-65).

Case reports of prozac addicts

Social audit's charles medawar, the uk's drugs watchdog, pieces together new evidence demonstrating that the new, so-called safer antidepressants like prozac could be habit-forming.

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