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Propranolol Safe and Effective for Infantile Hemangiomas

Volume, color, and elevation of infantile hemagiomas improve with propranolol treatment

TUESDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with propranolol reduces the volume, color, and elevation of infantile hemangiomas (IHs), according to a study published online July 25 in Pediatrics.

Marcia Hogeling, M.D., from the Sydney Children's Hospital in Australia, and colleagues assessed the safety and efficacy of propranolol hydrochloride for treating IHs. A cohort of 40 children, aged 9 weeks to 5 years, with facial IHs and IHs in other sites with potential for disfigurement was randomized to receive an oral solution of 2 mg/kg per day propranolol or placebo for six months. The efficacy of treatment was measured every four weeks up to six months, and photographs were scored at 0, 12, and 24 weeks.

The investigators found that, in the propranolol group, IH growth stopped by week four. The percentage change in volume was significantly different between the two groups, with the largest difference seen at week 12. IH redness and elevation were significantly reduced in the propranolol group at weeks 12 and 24. No cases of significant hypoglycemia, hypotension, or bradycardia were seen. There was one drop out due to an upper respiratory infection. Other adverse events included bronchiolitis, gastroenteritis, streptococcal infection, cool extremities, dental caries, and sleep disturbance.

"This randomized controlled trial revealed that propranolol is a safe and effective medication for treating IHs," the authors write.

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