The Effects of Inhaled Corticosteroids on Growth in Children

Jim Philip*
Department of Endocrinology, NMC Hospital, Al Mutradeh area, AL AIN, UAE

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© Jim Philip; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Endocrinology, NMC Hospital, Al Mutradeh area, AL AIN, UAE; Tel: +97137030300; E-mail:


Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are recommended as the first-line therapy for children with persistent asthma. These agents are particularly effective in reducing underlying airway inflammation, improving lung function, decreasing airway hyper-reactivity, and reducing intensity of symptoms in asthmatics. Chronic diseases, such as asthma, have growth-suppressing effects independent of the treatment, which inevitably complicates growth studies. One year studies showed a small, dose-dependent effect of most ICS on childhood growth, with some differences across various ICS molecules, and across individual children. Some ICS at the doses studied did not affect childhood growth when rigorous study designs were used. Most studies did not conform completely with the FDA guidance. The data on effects of childhood ICS use on final adult height are conflicting, but one recent well-designed study showed such an effect, clearly warranting additional studies. In spite of these measurable effects of ICS on childhood growth, it is important to understand that the safety profile of all ICS preparations, with focal anti-inflammatory effects on the lung, is significantly better than oral glucocorticoids.

Keywords: Childhood asthma, inhaled Corticosteroids, linear growth. .