Childhood Asthma and Magnesium Effectiveness


Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood and the leading cause of childhood morbidity. When uncontrolled, asthma can place significant limits on daily life, and is sometimes fatal. The use of magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) is one of numerous treatment options available during acute severe asthma in children. The efficacy of intravenous, or inhaled MgSO4 has been demonstrated, while little is known about the actual clinical use of either intravenous (IV) or inhaling MgSO4.


To assess the effectiveness of intravenous (IV) and/or inhaled MgSO4 on hospital admissions and pulmonary function in children with asthma. This systematic review assessed the best available evidence for the use of either intravenous or inhaled MgSO4 in children with acute asthma. Magnesium deficiency is a common electrolyte disorder in children with acute severe asthma. Several authors reported that IV magnesium was effective in the treatment of moderate to acute asthma in children but evidence for nebulised magnesium was insufficient. In addition, it is used in severe, progressed cases to prevent respiratory failure and/or admission to the intensive care unit. It has bronchodilating and anti-inflammatory effects and modulates ion transport and influences intracellular calcium concentration. Intravenous MgSO4 therapy helps in achieving earlier improvement in clinical signs and symptoms of asthma, e.g. respiratory function and significantly reduced hospital admission, in children with acute severe asthma. The role of nebulised MgSO4 in asthmatic children requires further investigation.


According to the previous studies, the author recommends the use of intravenous MgSO4 as a safe and effective adjunct to conventional bronchodilator therapy in acute severe asthma in children.

Expert Commentary by Carolyn Dean, MD, ND

1. Research shows that many patients with asthma and other bronchial diseases have low magnesium.
2. Many drugs used in the treatment of asthma cause a loss of magnesium, only making symptoms worse.
3. Patients treated with simple magnesium supplementation report marked improvement in their symptoms.

Magnesium is an excellent treatment for asthma because it is a bronchodilator and an antihistamine, naturally reducing histamine levels in the body. It has a calming effect on the muscles of the bronchial tubes and the whole body. Certainly, drug therapy for asthma can often be lifesaving; drugs, however, are not curative. You have to eliminate the underlying cause of asthma and replace magnesium to fully treat this condition. Without magnesium, asthma can become chronic, especially if the various triggers are not eliminated; even the fear of an attack can magnify the emotional component. Conventional allergy shots have been used for decades to try to trick the body into accepting irritating allergens but often do not work, especially when the condition is due to a nutrient deficiency. ”


J Matern, “The use of intravenous and inhaled magnesium sulphate in management of children with bronchial asthma.” Fetal Neonatal Med. 2014 Jan 30.

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