Focus area: Physicians
Intravenous magnesium sulfate for acute wheezing in young children: a randomised double-blind trial
Magnesium sulfate has been shown to be an effective treatment in older children with asthma exacerbations, but it has not been investigated in acute severe virus-induced wheezing in young children.
Magnesium sulfate has been shown to be effective in treatment in children with severe asthmatic exacerbations, however its efficacy has not been demonstrated in severe forms of Viral Wheezing in pre-school age. This study involved 61 children aged 6 months to 4 years. Inclusion criteria were represented by the presence of severe distress, attributed by an RDAI score ≥6 points (Respiratory Distress Assessment Instrument). After initial treatment with salbutamol, children with symptoms of acute viral infection were randomized and received, randomly: an infusion of magnesium sulfate (40 mg / kg) into the active group; in the control group 0.9% sodium chloride solution; in 20 minutes.
The primary outcome was the mean change in baseline RDAI score at six hours after treatment, understood as variation in sibilant breathing severity. The scores obtained (mean ± SD RDAI) were respectively: 4.7 ± 2.6 in the magnesium sulfate group; and 4.2 ± 4.2 in the placebo group (difference 0.5, 95% CI -1.3 to 2.3, p=0.594). Intravenous magnesium sulfate has not been shown to be effective in the treatment of severe acute wheezing induced by viruses, in pre-school children, as contrasted with literature, about its efficacy in older children with severe asthma.