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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Asthma advice ignored in children

An article published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood that investigated the prescribing of asthma drugs to children has suggested that prescribing is not consistent with the guideline recommendations. The BBC has reported this study.

The authors examined prescribing figures between 2000 and 2006 compared to the British Thoracic Society (BTS) asthma guideline. A 60% decrease in prescribing of bronchodilator syrups was noted however this represents over 100,000 prescriptions for 2006. It was also noted that the proportion of steroid inhalers prescribed as combination products rose from 2.7% in 2000 to 25.3% in 2006.

The article concludes that, "further education of health professionals is required". The BTS asthma guidelines are summarised in the BNF and the BNF for Children.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of the guidelines for acute and chronic management of asthma and ensure that they fully implemented. The guidelines are easily accessible in the paper and electronic versions of the BNF.

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