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Oral vs Inhaled Corticosteroids Following Emergency Department Discharge of Patients With Acute Asthma

Paul E. Marik, MD, FCCP; Joseph Varon, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Pittsburgh, PA
 ,  Houston, TX
 ,  Dr. Marik is Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Dr. Varon is Associate Professor of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine.

Correspondence to: Joseph Varon, MD, FCCP, 2219 Dorrington, Houston, TX 77030; e-mail: jvaron@roamer.net



Chest. 2002;121(6):1735-1736. doi:10.1378/chest.121.6.1735
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Asthma is a lung disease that is characterized by the presence of increased responsiveness of the airways to various stimuli, reversible expiratory airflow obstruction, and inflammatory changes in the submucosa of the airways. Over the past decade, it has become increasingly recognized that airways inflammation is a major component of asthma.12 Due to their potent anti-inflammatory effects, therapy with systemic corticosteroids (oral, IM, or IV) is recommended in all patients presenting to the emergency department with an acute exacerbation of asthma.34 Furthermore, a short course of oral corticosteroids following emergency department discharge significantly reduces the number of relapses and the amount of β-agonist use without an increase in side effects.5

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