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Inhaled magnesium sulfate in the treatment of acute asthma

Powell, Colin Victor Eric, Dwan, Kerry, Milan, Stephen J., Beasley, Richard, Hughes, Rodney, Knopp-Sihota, Jennifer A. and Rowe, Brian H. 2012. Inhaled magnesium sulfate in the treatment of acute asthma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012 (12) , CD003898. 10.1002/14651858.CD003898.pub5

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Acute asthma is a common emergency department problem usually treated with systemic corticosteroids, inhaled beta-agonists and a variety of other agents (including inhaled corticosteroids, inhaled anticholinergics, intravenous magnesium sulfate and oxygen). A Cochrane review showed that intravenous treatment with magnesium sulfate was helpful in improving peak expiratory flow measures (patients capacity to breathe more freely) in acute severe exacerbations of asthma. Therefore, we were interested in finding out if inhaled magnesium sulfate is helpful to people suffering an asthma attack and we undertook this review to explore this question. Inhaled magnesium sulfate is recommended only after someone experiencing an asthma attack has been given bronchodilators, steroids and has failed to respond adequately to them. This review found that using inhaled magnesium sulfate combined with a beta-2-agonist (with or without ipratropium) for an acute asthma attack does not significantly improve pulmonary function (and therefore does not help people to breathe more freely) overall, but there may be improvement in adults with particularly severe asthma attacks, which merits further study The evidence, however, that the addition of nebulised magnesium sulfate is helpful with regard to clinically important outcomes, such as reducing hospital admissions, is not proven by the clinical trials included in this review.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISSN: 1469-493X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:55

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