New evidence suggests that a new type of therapy using leukotriene receptor antagonists may not be effective in patients with moderate to severe asthma.
Leukotriene antagonists, a relatively new type of non steroidal anti inflammatory drug (NSAID), are generally used as an add on therapy to improve lung function and reduce the requirement for oral/inhaled steroid.
In this UK study, scientists monitored 100 adult asthmatic patients whose symptoms did not improve with treatment with either steroid or other drugs.
Patients were given either placebo or the leukotriene antagonist montelukast (10 mg daily for seven days followed by crossover to placebo for another seven days) as an add on therapy to corticosteroid.
After two 14 day treatment periods, the addition of montelukast did not result in any significant improvement in symptoms (Lancet, 2001; 357: 2007-11).