Do Inhaled Corticosteroids (ICS) Stunt Growth?

Allergy Partners

Our Myth Busters Investigate

The question about corticosteroids and their impacts on growth is an important one for our patients and parents. For many years, there has been concern over whether or not inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) – drugs taken to treat asthma and related respiratory disorders – may have potential side effects leading to delayed or stunted childhood growth.

Research has revealed that the use of ICS (inhalant corticosteroids) in children with asthma can have a slight but measurable negative impact on linear growth, weight gain, and skeletal maturation. It is recommended that minimal doses be used to avoid any potential adverse effects; however, further research shows asthmatic females and those tested positively for skin allergies are especially vulnerable to diminished growth when using these medications. The initial onset of decreased growth appears after one year without increased risks over time.

Recent studies have also revealed that intermittent use of ICS and intranasal steroids can be just as effective in treating asthma, yet with a significantly lower overall dose. This suggests an important opportunity for more targeted treatments to help children manage their asthmatic symptoms while minimizing negative growth effects.

Asthma Myth: Confirmed!

It's encouraging to know that modern medical treatments such as inhaled and intranasal corticosteroid medications can help treat the symptoms of asthma in adults, even if their use may be associated with a slight decrease in overall height. The positive impact these medications have on managing asthma should never be underestimated. Not only do they provide relief from acute symptoms, but also reduce the likelihood of future attacks. For those who require regular treatment to manage the condition, there is undeniable peace of mind that comes with having access to these medications and their proven benefit of maintaining asthma control.

Contact Allergy Partners to Learn More

At Allergy Partners, our network of board-certified allergists are here for you, expertly diagnosing asthma and allergic conditions and formulating personalized treatment plans that work with your lifestyle while monitoring growth over time. Your health and wellness are our physicians’ top priority. If asthma is slowing you down, relief is in sight when you have our experienced professionals on your side.

Learn more about dealing with asthma and then find your nearest Allergy Partners office to schedule an appointment!