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The study was funded by GlaxoSmithKline PLC, which makes the inhaled asthma medicine Flovent, a brand of fluticasone. Lead author Dr. Francine Ducharme of the University of Montreal reports receiving research grants from Glaxo and other drug makers.
The British research was paid for by the nonprofit Asthma UK. Several authors report receiving fees and support from various drug makers that make asthma medication.
Dr. Bradley Chipps, an allergy specialist in Sacramento, Calif., said the research "gives us good information that what we've been doing doesn't work."
"It gives us a lead to pursue a safer alternative," said Chipps, who is on the allergy and immunology executive committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics and had no role in the study.
Pediatrician Dr. Sami Bahna of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport said wheezing children who do not have asthma will be better served by a wait-and-see approach.
"The majority will do well without intervention," Bahna said.
On the Net:
New England Journal: http://www.nejm.org/
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