Corticosteroid toxicity in children

Aljebab, Fahad (2017) Corticosteroid toxicity in children. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Corticosteroid medicines have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant effects. Corticosteroids are prescribed for a wide range of conditions in children. The duration of treatment ranges from a few days (short course) to long term. They are usually given orally in the different dosage form of tablets, syrup or soluble tablets. There are a wide range of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) associated with corticosteroids. This thesis initially evaluates the incidence of each individual ADR in children using systematic reviews. Prospective studies of palatability and pharmacoepidemiology using different methods are also used to evaluate aspects of using corticosteroids in children in Saudi Arabia and the UK.

A systematic review of the toxicity of short-course oral corticosteroids in children was conducted. Six electronic databases were searched for articles that evaluated the toxicity of oral corticosteroids in children for up to and including 14 days of treatment. Thirty eight articles including 22 randomised controlled trials (RCTs). The review found that the three most frequent ADRs were vomiting, behavioural changes and sleep disturbance, with incidence rates of 4.3 – 5.4% of patients. Infection was one of the most serious ADRs.

A systematic review of the toxicity of long-course oral corticosteroids in children was conducted. One hundred studies including 33 prospective cohort studies and 21 RCTs met the inclusion criteria. The review found that the three most frequent ADRs were weight gain, growth retardation and Cushingoid features, with incidence rates of 18.1 – 21.1% of patients. Infection was one of the most serious ADRs, with twenty one deaths. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression was detected in 249 of 429 patients in whom it was measured.

Based on the findings that were highlighted from the systematic review, a prospective observational/interview study was performed. This study evaluated the tolerability and palatability of oral prednisolone and dexamethasone in children in Saudi Arabia and the UK. Palatability was evaluated by asking patient/parent’s opinions of the taste and acceptability of the medication. Tolerability in particular nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain was evaluated by direct questioning of the patient/parents after each administration. Dexamethasone sodium phosphate solution was the most palatable preparation. Prednisolone base tablets were rated the least palatable and were also the least well tolerated. Palatability scores seemed to improve with second doses.

A prospective pharmacoepidemiological study of corticosteroids use in Saudi Arabian children was conducted. This study aimed to evaluate the prescribing pattern of corticosteroids for children in the Emergency, outpatient clinics and paediatric wards in the Gurayat General Hospital (GGH) in Saudi Arabia. A total of 1000 patients were approached for the study. Most of whom were asthmatic, eczema, bronchiolitis, and croup patients. A total of 1209 prescriptions were prescribed from different departments. The three most frequently prescribed corticosteroids medications were hydrocortisone ampoules (24.4%), prednisolone tablets (16.4%) and mometasone furoate ointment (9%).

This research has contributed to the field of corticosteroids in children by providing more information about the most common and serious ADRs and determining their relative risk levels.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Choonara, I.A.
Conroy, S.
Keywords: Corticosteroids, Adrenocortical hormones, Adverse drug reactions
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WK Endocrine system
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Graduate Entry Medicine and Health
UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 43388
Depositing User: Aljebab, Fahad
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2017 13:14
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 00:16

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