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Keywords: acute asthma , PEFR , salbutamol , Ipratropium bromide

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Objective: To compare the improvement in peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) of patients presentingto the emergency department with acute severe asthma by using the following two regimens of broncho-dilator therapy.a) Salbutamol nebulization. b) Salbutamol plus Ipratropium bromide nebulization. c) To compare the hospital admissionrates in the above mentioned two treatment groups. Design: A comparative study. Place and Duration of Study:Military Hospital Rawalpindi, Feb 2002 to Dec 2002. Material and Methods: Sixty adult asthmatic patients with peakexpiratory flow rate (PEFR) less than 200 liters per minute were randomly assigned to nebulization treatment withsalbutamol (5.0 mg initial dose followed by 2 more doses at 30 and 60 minutes) or the same salbutamol regimen plusipratropium bromide (0.5 mg). The primary end point was change in PEFR. The PEFR was measured at 30 minutes,60 minutes and 90 minutes after the onset of study protocol. The proportion of admission in the two groups wasexamined as secondary end point. Results: The increase in PEFR over time was significantly greater in combinedipratropium plus salbutamol group (p = 0.01) also the proportion of admitted patients was less in combined salbutamolplus ipratropium bromide group 4/30 vs 11/30, p = 0.036. Conclusion: The data suggested that combined iratropiumbromide plus salbutamol nebulization was superior to salbutamol nebulization alone and it should be used in the initialmanagement of patients who present with acute severe asthma.


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