Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size

Treatment May Prevent Wheezing in Pre-Term Babies

But preventing respiratory synctial virus comes with a hefty price tag

continued...

The study also found that 21 percent of the babies who received no treatment had recurrent wheezing, compared to 11 percent in those receiving palivizumab. The number of infants who needed medication to treat their wheezing was also less in the palivizumab group, according to the study.

Other than redness and swelling at the injection site, the drug is very well tolerated, Bont said.

The reduction in wheezing comes at a price, however. A season's treatment would likely reach about $10,000 in the United States, Bont said, adding that cost varies from country to country. A child's weight, which determines dosage, also affects the cost of treatment.

"Society needs to define whether its cost-effectiveness is acceptable," Bont said. He said palivizumab should be a standard preventive treatment for premature infants during RSV season.

Lemanske agreed that this is a very expensive intervention. "But if wheezing episodes in pre-term infants are associated with significant [illnesses], then preventing RSV could translate into dollars and cents too," he said. "Whether this will reduce disease risk down the road remains to be seen."

1|2

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
Mother with baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
 
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.
 

mother holding baby at night
ARTICLE
mother with sick child
QUIZ
 
baby with pacifier
VIDEO
Track Your Babys Vaccines
TOOL
 
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Slideshow
Woman holding feet up to camera
Article
 
Father kissing newborn baby
Article
baby gear slideshow
Slideshow