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An intravenous infusion of magnesium sulphate along with conventional medications gives an additional benefit for children who require an emergency room visit because of a severe asthma attack. Looking at clinical trials involving 182 children, researchers in Hong Kong analyzed the effects of intravenous magnesium sulphate with or without inhaled beta-2-agonist bronchodilators and oral steroid drugs.
The goal of the study was to determine if the treatment prevented the children from being hospitalized. The researchers also saw a major improvement with magnesium treatment in short-term lung function tests and symptom scores. "Intravenous magnesium sulphate is likely to be effective in avoiding hospitalization and improving bronchoconstriction and clinical symptoms of moderate-tosevere acute asthma in children, when added to standard therapies of inhaled bronchodilators and systemic steroids,"concluded the researchers in the Archives of Disease in Childhood (January 2005).