Fast Five Quiz: Pediatric Respiratory Syncytial Virus Management

Asif Noor, MD


March 03, 2022

At least a subset of patients with RSV-related lower respiratory tract infection appears to benefit from bronchodilator therapy. A study from 2009 found that a trial with monitoring for effect on respiratory rate, pulse, and oxygenation may be reasonable in selected cases.

Ribavirin, a broad-spectrum antiviral agent, is licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration as an aerosolized treatment option in children with severe RSV infection. However, the use of ribavirin has been limited to life-threatening RSV infections in immunocompromised patients because of its high acquisition cost, lack of demonstrated benefit in decreasing hospitalization or mortality, and concerns regarding patient toxicity as well as healthcare worker safety (owing to mode of administration).

Antibiotics should not be administered to children with RSV unless there is a concomitant bacterial infection.

Alpha-agonists, such as vaporized epinephrine, have also been used during acute bronchiolitis episodes, although available data do not clearly demonstrate efficacy.

Learn more about the pharmacologic management of RSV.


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