Introduction: Asthma is the most common chronic disease in childhood, affecting approximately 10% of all children, and is the leading cause of hospitalization in developed countries. In this paper we aimed to review the evidence on chemical pharmacotherapy for long-term treatment of pediatric asthma, according to the latest updates. Area covered: Long-term treatment, essential for controlling symptoms and reducing future risks including exacerbations and decline in lung function, includes control agents such as inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists, and leukotriene modifiers. More recent strategies based on the use of a biological drug such as omalizumab, which is a monoclonal antibody directed against immunoglobulin E (IgE), can be considered in selected patients with severe asthma. Expert opinion: In the near future, the challenge of childhood asthma treatment will be to improve the chemical drugs that already exist as well as to carefully characterize the several different asthma subtypes, with special regard to children with severe disease. A better definition of patient features, made possible by the current advanced knowledge of the pathobiology of severe asthma, can ultimately allow the identification of specific phenotypes and endotypes of severe asthma, aimed to personalize pharmacological treatment.
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