A double blind crossover study of nebulised sodium cromoglycate in 27 asthmatic preschool children was carried out over a one year period. All subjects had sufficiently severe asthma to have had at least one admission to hospital. The active treatment was sodium cromoglycate 20 mg (in 2 ml) administered by a nebuliser four times daily. Assessment was made by a diary card and clinical examination. Results were analysed in 24 subjects who completed the study. Statistical analysis allowed for order of treatment and seasonal effects. Significant results in favour of treatment with sodium cromoglycate were obtained for night cough, day activity, percentage of symptom free days, and overall severity of asthma. During active treatment there was no reduction in the rate of admissions to hospital or intravenous drugs used. The wheeze score during the week after an upper respiratory tract infection was not reduced during treatment with sodium cromoglycate. Nebulised sodium cromoglycate is a tedious prophylactic treatment for the young asthmatic child but is useful when other treatments have failed.
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