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Montelukast beneficial in asthma exacerbations

By Nigel Praities

Leukotriene receptor antagonists should be considered for routine use during acute asthma exacerbations, concludes a UK study.

The study randomised 87 adults with acute asthma requiring hospitalisation to either montelukast 10mg or placebo, in addition to standard treatment recommended by the British Thoracic Society.

Peak expiratory flows (PEF) were measured on admission and the day after. Patients in the montelukast-treated group had a significantly better PEF the next day than the previous day, with a mean difference of 57.4 litres/min between patients receiving montelukast and those on placebo.

Study leader Dr Crichton Ramsay, consultant in respiratory medicine at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said this was the first study of its kind: ‘Given the good safety profile of oral montelukast and the ease of administration, it would seem reasonable to consider its routine use in asthma exacerbations.'

The study was part funded by Merck Sharp and Dohme.

Thorax 2010, online 18 October

Childhood asthma

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