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Intravenous magnesium for acute asthma?
  • Relevant BNF section: 3.1


Each year in the UK, around 1,500 people die from asthma.1 Standard treatment has been based on bronchodilators (e.g. beta2-stimulants) and anti-inflammatory drugs (corticosteroids). The recently revised British Guideline on the Management of Asthma suggests also using a single dose of i.v. magnesium sulphate in patients with acute severe asthma, an unlicensed indication.2 Here we discuss the rationale for giving i.v. magnesium and whether it offers any advantage for patients with acute severe asthma.

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