Our objective was to determine if nebulized racemic epinephrine is more efficacious than nebulized albuterol or saline placebo in the treatment of bronchiolitis in the outpatient setting when dosing is equivalent in terms of beta-2 agonist potency. Sixty-five patients between ages 6 weeks and 24 months with a diagnosis of bronchiolitis, defined as first-time wheezing, upper respiratory symptoms and/or fever, and a Respiratory Distress Assessment Instrument score of at least 4, were randomized to receive 5 mg nebulized albuterol, 5 mg nebulized racemic epinephrine, or an equivalent volume of placebo at 0, 30, and 60 min. The primary outcome measure was need for hospital admission or home oxygen. Secondary outcome measures were changes in clinical scores and oxygen saturations. There were no significant statistical differences between groups in terms of need for hospital admission or outpatient management with home oxygen therapy. There were no differences between groups in terms of changes in clinical scores or oxygen saturations. Racemic epinephrine and albuterol at equivalent doses had no effect on the need for hospitalization or supplemental oxygen in bronchiolitis in the outpatient setting compared to nebulized saline placebo, though this study may have missed less dramatic clinical effects due to small sample size.
- Beta-2 agonist
- Controlled trial
- Respiratory Distress Assessment Instrument
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine