Hadjikoumi I, Loader P, Bracken M, Milner AD. Arch Dis Child. 2002;86:202–203
Purpose of the Study.
Parents often report that nebulized albuterol makes their children “hyper.”
Nineteen children with asthma 25 to 64 months of age whose parents thought that albuterol made their children overactive.
This was a double-blind, crossover study with children randomized to receive nebulization with albuterol (5 mg) or saline, then the reverse [Note: the usual dose is 0.5 mL of the 0.5% solution = 2.5 mg]. Behavior was rated by parents using Connors’ Rating Scale at baseline and after nebulization. Professional observers rated the level of activity using Preschool Behavior Observation Scale (PS-BOS).
Parental ratings of activity revealed no significant difference between baseline and postalbuterol scores. Professional observers ratings of activity revealed no evidence of an increase in the child’s activity after administration of albuterol.
Neither parental report nor observer ratings suggested any significant increase in the child’s level of activity after albuterol.
Although often reported, when studied in a blinded fashion, an albuterol nebulization, even 5 mg, does not cause preschoolers to be “hyper.” Perhaps it is the setting (asthma attack) in which a nebulization is normally given that changes children’s behavior or their parents perception thereof.