Following a short-term clinical trial reported elsewhere, beclomethasone dipropionate aerosol has been given to 15 children with asthma for between 2 1/2 and 3 years except for a short placebo period after the first year. Month-by-month records of wheezing, peak flow rate, and other treatments used are presented for the first 17 months, adrenocortical function tests are reported for the first 2 years, and growth is recorded for 2 1/2-3 years. The short-term clinical benefits of the treatment are confirmed in the longer term, adrenocortical function appears to be unchanged, and growth proceeds along expected lines. The main disadvantage seems to be worsening of eczema and allergic rhinitis in those children who have ceased using corticotrophin or oral steroids for the control of asthma. It is concluded that in the long term beclomethasone dipropionate aerosol provides safe and effective day-to-day control of asthma in children, although occasional recourse to systemic steroid therapy cannot be avoided. Oral candidasis has not been a clinical problem.
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