Inhaled frusemide prevents bronchoconstriction in asthmatic adults induced by various triggers. To determine if frusemide provides similar protection in children, whether this is age dependent and equally effective for central and peripheral airways, we performed a double blind, placebo controlled, randomised, crossover study on the effect of inhaled frusemide on lung function changes induced by cold air challenge in 21 asthmatic children. In addition, we measured diuresis before and after inhalation. Bronchodilatation after frusemide was not observed. However, deterioration in lung function after frusemide, compared with placebo, was significantly diminished: forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was -5.7% v -11.5%, peak expiratory flow (PEF) -7.7% v -23.3%, maximum expiratory flow at 50% of vital capacity (MEF50VC) -16.0% v -35.2%, and at 60% of total lung capacity (MEF60TLC) -32.4% v -61.6%, and specific airways conduction -42.0% v -57.7%, respectively. This effect was not age dependent. Diuresis was significantly increased from a mean (SEM) of 198 (34) ml/3 hours before inhaled frusemide to 379 (62) ml/3 hours after nebulisation. We conclude that inhaled frusemide prevents cold air induced bronchoconstriction in asthmatic children and that increased diuresis can be expected with a dose as low as 28 mg of frusemide given by nebuliser.
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