Pediatric Subjects Aged 4 to 11 Years: The efficacy of Ventolin HFA was evaluated in one 2-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 135 pediatric subjects aged 4 to 11 years with mild to moderate asthma. In this trial, subjects received Ventolin HFA, CFC 11/12-propelled albuterol, or HFA-134a placebo. Serial pulmonary function measurements demonstrated that 2 inhalations of Ventolin HFA produced significantly greater improvement in pulmonary function than placebo and that there were no significant differences between the groups treated with Ventolin HFA and CFC 11/12-propelled albuterol. In the responder population treated with Ventolin HFA, the mean time to onset of a 15% increase in peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) over the pretreatment value was minutes, and the mean time to peak effect was approximately 90 minutes. The mean duration of effect as measured by a 15% increase in PEFR over the pretreatment value was greater than 3 hours. In some subjects, duration of effect was as long as 6 hours.
The most common side effect of topical corticosteroid use is skin atrophy. All topical steroids can induce atrophy, but higher potency steroids, occlusion, thinner skin, and older patient age increase the risk. The face, the backs of the hands, and intertriginous areas are particularly susceptible. Resolution often occurs after discontinuing use of these agents, but it may take months. Concurrent use of topical tretinoin (Retin-A) % may reduce the incidence of atrophy from chronic steroid applications. 30 Other side effects from topical steroids include permanent dermal atrophy, telangiectasia, and striae.
It is important to consult your doctor to discuss the possible risks of ceasing topical steroids. While adrenal suppression and HPA axis suppression generally resolve by ceasing topical steroid therapy, caution must be exercised. Stopping topical steroids when the adrenal glands are severely depressed can risk adrenal crisis, which is life-threatening. Your doctor can run tests to determine cortisol levels and adrenal function prior to cessation of topical steroids and can continue follow-up during your withdrawal. Reading relevant research from scholarly, peer-reviewed journals will help you learn more about this condition. Finding a support group or joining online communities may offer additional support.