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Prescribing emergency oral steroids in asthma clinics
  1. Rhian Willson1,
  2. Sukeshi Makhecha2,
  3. Rachel Moore-Crouch1,
  4. Ian M Balfour-Lynn1
  1. 1 Department of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2 Department of Pharmacy, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ian M Balfour-Lynn; i.balfourlynn{at}


We retrospectively reviewed children who had been prescribed emergency oral corticosteroids (OCS) in a routine tertiary paediatric respiratory clinic appointment. We subsequently assessed adherence from prescription uptake of inhaled corticosteroids or combination inhalers in the 6 months prior to the episode. In 2 years, 25 children received 32 courses of prednisolone. Median adherence was 33%, but 28% for those with repeated OCS prescriptions. Prescribing acute OCS in a routine clinic is a red flag for potential poor adherence to preventer therapies, and may also indicate the child has poor perception of the severity of their symptoms. An assessment of adherence should be carried out and help given to the child and their family to improve poor adherence when detected.

  • adherence
  • corticosteroids
  • asthma

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  • Contributors RW gathered all the data, with the help of SM from the Pharmacy database. RM-C gathered the adherence data from the general practitioners. IMB-L designed, supervised, analysed data and wrote the paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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