In children whose colds tend to progress and lead to severe wheezing and difficulty breathing — such that they are given oral corticosteroids as rescue therapy — researchers have shown that giving a common antibiotic at the first sign of symptoms can reduce the risk of the episode developing into a severe lower respiratory tract illness.
The antibiotic azithromycin may reduce the risk of recurrent wheezing in infants hospitalized with a common respiratory infection, according to a small pilot study at the School of Medicine. Reduced wheezing may lower an infant’s risk of developing asthma over the next several years, according to the researchers, including first author Avraham Beigelman, MD.
Pediatricians often treat young children who have frequent bouts of wheezing with a daily dose of an inhaled steroid to keep asthma symptoms at bay. But results of a recent study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, including Leonard B. Bacharier, MD, are likely to change that.
Two related studies at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and St. Louis Children’s Hospital are looking at whether medication can prevent respiratory infections in young children from becoming more serious.