A randomised controlled trial assessing symptom-driven versus maintenance preventer therapy for the outpatient management of asthma in children (The ASYMPTOMATIC study).

Asthma is the commonest long-term disease in children in the UK. It causes cough and difficulty breathing. The main treatment for asthma is a preventer inhaler, containing corticosteroids, which prevents irritation of the airways.

The aim of the ASYMPTOMATIC trial is to find out the best way for children and young people with asthma to use their inhaled corticosteroids (preventer inhaler).

At the moment, children and young people in the UK are advised to take their corticosteroid inhaler every day. Although this approach appears to help prevent asthma attacks, it may not be needed in all children with mild asthma.

They could perhaps instead use a corticosteroid inhaler only on days when they have asthma symptoms, such as cough, wheeze, or shortness of breath.

This study will measure if the number of asthma attacks is different between children who take their corticosteroid inhaler everyday (the “daily” group) and those who take it only when they have symptoms (the “symptom-driven group”).

The study will involve around 250 GP practices in England and around 2000 children and young people with asthma.

You can find more detailed information about the study and what taking part involves here.