Total respiratory resistance was measured before and after nebulised phenylephrine in 5 babies (age range 7 to 17 months) with wheezy bronchitis, and in 2 babies (aged 2 and 6 months) with bronchiolitis. None showed a change in resistance after treatment. Total respiratory resistance was measured before and after nebulised adrenaline in another 14 babies (age range 4 to 13 months) with bronchiolitis. No fall in resistance was noted in any baby after treatment whether or not it was given by a conventional or an ultrasonic nebuliser. We conclude that alpha- and beta-adrenergic stimulants are ineffective in bronchiolitis and wheezy bronchitis in children under 18 months of age.
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