SAN DIEGO — The choice of ibuprofen or acetaminophen did not affect length of stay in children hospitalized with asthma, according to data presented here.
This finding contrasts earlier research demonstrating improvement in asthma symptoms in children who received ibuprofen compared to acetaminophen.
“Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are common anti-fever and anti-pain medications in children; however, only ibuprofen also has anti-inflammatory properties,” Lindsey C. Douglas, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, New York, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “We looked at children with asthma, a common chronic inflammatory condition of the lung, to see if the choice of acetaminophen or ibuprofen affected clinical outcomes.”
The researchers conducted a retrospective study of children (n = 1,197) aged 4-18 years hospitalized for asthma from 1998-2012 at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore during the first 48 hours of hospitalization to determine who received ibuprofen (n = 711) and who received acetaminophen (n = 486). Patients were excluded if they had received both medications during hospitalization.
“In children hospitalized with asthma and treated exclusively with either ibuprofen or acetaminophen, we found no difference between groups in the length of hospital stay,” Douglas told Infectious Diseases in Children.
After adjusting for age, gender, race and ethnicity in a regression analysis using log transformed length of stay as the outcome, researchers found that ibuprofen and acetaminophen use remained unassociated with length of stay (1.2% difference; 95% CI, – 5.3%-7.9%).
However, following adjustment, Hispanic ethnicity was associated with a 17.3% longer length of stay (95% CI, 2.5%-34.1%).
Researchers noted a statistically significant correlation in both groups between the number of medication doses given in the first 48 hours and median length of stay (acetaminophen: rho = 0.11; P = .02; ibuprofen: rho = 0.12; P = .002), which may be secondary to severity of illness. – by Bob Stott
Leone NM, et al. Abstract #2850.2. Presented at: Pediatric Academic Societies 2015; April 25-28, 2015; San Diego.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.