This site is intended for health professionals only

NICE publishes final guidance on the use of inhaled corticosteroids

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has today published final guidance on the use of inhaled corticosteroids for the treatment of chronic asthma in children under the age of 12. This is part of the Institute's multiple technology appraisal (STA) work programme.

NICE recommends:

  • For children under the age of 12 years with chronic asthma in whom treatment with an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) is considered appropriate, the least costly product that is suitable for an individual child (taking into consideration technology appraisal guidance 38 and 10), within its marketing authorisation, is recommended.
  • For children under the age of 12 years with chronic asthma in whom treatment with an ICS and long-acting beta-2 agonist (LABA) is considered appropriate, the following apply:
    • The use of a combination device within its marketing authorisation is recommended as an option.
    • The decision to use a combination device or the two agents in separate devices should be made on an individual basis, taking into consideration therapeutic need and the likelihood of treatment adherence.
    • If a combination device is chosen then the least costly device that is suitable for the individual child is recommended.

Dr Gillian Leng, Executive lead for the guideline, and deputy chief executive, NICE said: "Asthma can prevent children from doing every day activities such as playing at school, riding a bike, and even participating in organised sports. Other effects can include school absence and night disturbances. The committee has concluded that inhaled corticosteroids are both a good use of NHS resources and an effective way of controlling the symptoms of asthma and preventing severe asthma attacks."


Take part in our online survey now!

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"I also see COPD patients.  I think that the appropriate use of ICS's may help in preventing chronic inflammation caused by uncontrolled asthma over a long period of time" - Name and address supplied

"I use ICS for children under 12 who are not controlled with a B2 alone. Other medcations would include a Montelukast and LABA although LABA is not liceinced for under 4year-olds. I have not read the NICE guidance yet but new guidelines will be welcome - Jane, Cambridge

"ICS are very effective if used appropriately, and if concordance is good. However, I also use LABA, monteleukast and antihistamines as indicated by the particular patient, and as recommended by BTS guidelines" - Kate, Colchester