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LTRAs to have role in adults too

Leukotriene receptor antagonists could have an increased role in treating asthma in adults as well as children, new research concludes.

The NHS Health Technology Assessment found that as with children, the drugs were as effective as inhaled steroids and long-acting ß-agonists at key treatment stages.

Researchers insisted current guidelines were out of date, although they admitted the costs of LTRAs might limit their use.

Study leader Professor David Price, professor of primary care respiratory medicine at the University of Aberdeen, presented evidence to the conference in London on use of the drugs in patients aged over 12.

The comparison of 326 patients randomised to inhaled steroids or LTRAs at step two and 361 randomised to long-acting ß-agonists or LTRAs at step three found no significant differences.

After eight weeks, patients in all four groups reported improvements in their condition, but the researchers found no statistically significant difference between the treatments at steps two or three, nor any difference at two years.

Professor Price said: 'Asthma guidelines may require revision.'

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