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Last Updated: Oct 11, 2012 - 10:22:56 PM
Systematic Review
The Cochrane Library
Asthma Channel

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Latest Research : Medicine : Respiratory Medicine : Asthma

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Inhale magnesium sulphate along with beta-2-agonists during asthma attacks

Jul 20, 2005 - 3:07:00 PM
They concluded that there was good evidence that nebulised magnesium sulphate was safe and effective and that it should be considered as an additional therapy along with beta-2-agonists.

[RxPG] Severe asthma attacks can be life threatening and intravenous magnesium sulphate is known to help, but inhaling nebulised magnesium sulphate can also improve lung function.

Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs where people have periods where their breathing is stable, and other periods where it is restricted. These 'exacerbations' or 'attacks' can be mild or so severe that the person needs hospital treatment.

During most episodes people use inhaled beta-2-agonists, but in more severe cases these alone may not be enough to restore breathing to normal. The Cochrane Review Authors therefore searched the literature to examine the evidence regarding the use of inhaled magnesium sulphate as an additional therapeutic option.

They concluded that there was good evidence that nebulised magnesium sulphate was safe and effective and that it should be considered as an additional therapy along with beta-2-agonists.

"We also found that magnesium sulphate was most useful in situations where the exacerbation was severe," says lead author Maurice Blitz, who works in the Division of General Surgery, at the University of Alberta, Canada

Publication: Review Title: Blitz et al: Inhaled magnesium sulphate in the treatment of acute asthma. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005 Issue 3
On the web: www.interscience.wiley.com 

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 Additional information about the news article
Cochrane reviews are based on the best available information about healthcare interventions. They explore the evidence for and against the effectiveness and appropriateness of treatments (medications, surgery, education, etc) in specific circumstances.

The complete reviews are published in The Cochrane Library which is available by subscription, either on CDROM or via the Internet. You should be able to browse the Cochrane Library at your nearest medical library if you don't have your own subscription.

The Cochrane Library is published four times a year. Each issue contains all existing reviews plus an increasingly wider range of new and updated reviews. It is published and distributed by Wiley InterScience and is also distributed by a number of other Distribution Partners. It is not available for sale from Cochrane Centres.
For any corrections of factual information, to contact the editors or to send any medical news or health news press releases, use feedback form

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