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Good Science: Treating Infantile Hemangioma: Adverse Drug Events with Propranolol


Author’s Conclusion:

The author concludes with a general perspective in reference to treating Infantile Hemangioma. The author states, “More and more children are treated for Infantile Hemangioma with propranolol, yet pediatric providers do not have experience with propranolol. As providers, it is vital to be familiar with propranolol side effects in the infant population, such as: risks for hypoglycemia, bradycardia, and bronchospasms.” The author agrees with authors of the original study, that parental education is also needed.

Student’s Conclusion (Vandrea Watts)

Infantile Hemangioma, also known as IH, is a vascularized tumor that develops in infants during their first weeks of life. Propranolol has been shown to reduce regression of IH; however, the safety of propranolol has yet to be considered in the infant population.  A Cohort study of infants with IH was studied. Propranolol was stopped in 45 (51%) of 88 children because of adverse drug reactions including: respiratory infections, nightmares (sleep disturbances), hypoglycemia, and bradycardia. Even though adverse reactions occurred, 40% of the infants were able to restart the use of propranolol. The study suggests ongoing monitoring during the use of propranolol in infants with IH and to discontinue propranolol during times of illness.