Comparison of inhaled metaproterenol, inhaled atropine sulfate, and their combination in treatment of children with acute asthma

Margaret Frank Guill, M. J. Maloney, R. H. DuRant

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The separate and combined effects of inhaled metaproterenol and atropine sulfate were evaluated in the treatment of 44 episodes of acute asthma occurring in 35 children ranging in age from 13 months to 13 years. Peak expiratory flow rate and pulmonary index were measured before and after each of up to three inhalation treatments. Significant improvement in peak flow rate (P < .04) was noted after the second inhalation of metaproterenol both with and without the combination of atropine sulfate compared with the effects of atropine alone. Patients treated with metaproterenol and metaproterenol combined with atropine also experienced fewer therapeutic failures (2/15 and 2/16, respectively) compared with those treated with atropine (6/13, P < .02). Pulmonary index scores did not differ among the treatment groups. Inhaled metaproterenol appears to be more effective than inhaled atropine sulfate in the treatment of children with acute asthma. The addition of inhaled atropine sulfate appears to offer no advantage over treatment with inhaled metaproterenol alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-371
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Allergy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1987


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy

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