ATLANTA, GA—Allergen-specific subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) might reduce 5- to 11-year-old children’s need for inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) for the management of asthma symptoms, according to findings from a retrospective study from Mexico presented at the 2017 AAAAI Annual Meeting.

“Reduction in the need for inhaled ICS was higher in children under 11 years old receiving SCIT compared with patients who did not receive it,” reported Carlos Macouzet-Sánchez, MD, of the UANL Allergy and Clinical Immunology Regional Center, Monterrey University Hospital, in Monterrey, Mexico, and coauthors.

Using medical records from 2015 and 2016 at a regional allergy center in Mexico for 169 patients with asthma, the study authors analyzed ICS use prior to SCIT and 6 months after SCIT for 5-11 year-olds (n=128) and 12-18 year-olds (n=41).

In the younger group, 57.8% of patients were administered SCIT and 38% never used ICS, Dr. Macouzet-Sánchez said. Among patients under age 12 years, but not in older group, “the proportion of patients who discontinued ICS after 6 months was higher in the group receiving SCIT (P=0.002),” the authors reported. Thirty-one (42%) of younger-group patients discontinued ICS after 6 months of SCIT and 11 (15%) of them continued ICS “at a stable dose,” Dr. Macouzet-Sánchez noted. 

Among patients aged 12 and older, 73.2% were administered SCIT and 73% of those patients were using ICS; 16.6% continued and 56.6% discontinued by 6 months after SCIT onset, but this difference failed to achieve statistical significance in this smaller group of patients (P=0.29, not significant). 

“There was no difference between patients under SCIT with ICS and the patients who discontinued them” (P=0.48, not significant), he said. “Other allergic comorbidities found in our patients were allergic rhinitis (AR; 92.3%), AR and atopic dermatitis (AD; 6.5%), AR and food allergy (0.6%) and AD (0.6%).”