Introduction: Countries like Bangladesh have seen an increase in the prevalence of bronchial asthma. The goal of the study was to compare the efficacy of nebulized salbutamol and nebulized epinephrine in treating children with acute asthma.
Objectives: To assess the clinical improvement of acute bronchial asthma in children following nebulization with salbutamol and epinephrine.
Methodology: This random, double-blind clinical trial was conducted in the paediatric department of the Mymensingh Medical College Hospital. Children of either sex with clinical features of acute exacerbation of asthma, an asthma score >5 to 11, an age range from 6 to 12 years, and the ability to measure peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) were enrolled in this study. Outcomes were observed by measuring PEFR, respiratory rate, pulse rate, and SaO2 and also by determining asthma scores at 15, 35, 55, and 90 min after nebulization at a regular interval at 0, 20, 40, and 60 min. Differences from the base line and differences between both groups were observed.
Results: A total of 56 patients with acute asthma were enrolled in this study. Among them, 27 children were in the salbutamol group, and 29 patients were in the epinephrine group. Among baseline characteristics, there was no statistically significant difference (p > 0.05) between the two groups. Asthma score and respiratory rate decreased more in the salbutamol group with time after nebulization, but no statistically significant differences existed for the follow-up at 15, 35, and 55 minutes. A statistically significant increase in asthma score and respiratory rate was seen at 90 minutes of treatment in the salbutamol group. On the other hand, percent of predicted PEFR and SpO2 increased with time in both groups, and no statistically significant differences existed except for SpO2 at 35 min of follow-up in the salbutamol group. The epinephrine-treated group had a higher incidence of side effects as compared with the salbutamol group, but there was no statistically significant difference.
Conclusion: Based on this study, in the treatment of asthmatic children with a mild to moderate exacerbation, both nebulized epinephrine and nebulized salbutamol were effective when given in addition to oral steroids.