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Respiratory medicines for children: Current evidence, unlicensed use and research priorities

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Spencer


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This European Respiratory Society task force has reviewed the evidence for paediatric medicines in respiratory disease occurring in adults and children. We describe off-licence use, research priorities and ongoing studies. Off-licence and off-label prescribing in children is widespread and potentially harmful. Research areas in asthma include novel formulations and regimens, and individualised prescribing. In cystic fibrosis, future studies will focus on screened infants and robust outcome measures are needed. Other areas include new enzyme and antibiotic formulations and the basic defect. Research into pneumonia should include evaluation of new antibacterials and regimens, rapid diagnostic tests and, in pleural infection, antibiotic penetration, fibrinolytics and surveillance. In uncommon conditions, such as primary ciliary dyskinesia, congenital pulmonary abnormalities or neuromuscular disorders, drugs indicated for other conditions (e.g. dornase alfa) are commonly used and trials are needed. In neuromuscular disorders, the β-agonists may enhance muscle strength and are in need of evaluation. Studies of antibiotic prophylaxis, immunoglobulin and antifungal drugs are needed in immune deficiency. We hope that this summary of the evidence for respiratory medicines in children, highlighting gaps and research priorities, will be useful for the pharmaceutical industry, the paediatric committee of the European Medicines Agency, academic investigators and the lay public. Copyright©ERS Journals Ltd 2010.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Smyth A, Barbato A, Beydon N, Bisgaard H, De Boeck K, Brand P, Bush A, Fauroux B, De Jongste J, Korppi M, O'Callaghan C, Pijnenburg M, Ratjen F, Southern K, Spencer D, Thomson A, Vyas H, Warris A, Merkus P

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Respiratory Journal

Year: 2010

Volume: 35

Issue: 2

Pages: 247-265

ISSN (print): 0903-1936

ISSN (electronic): 1399-3003


DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00139508