Girls and children exposed to tobacco smoke respond particularly well to montelukast (Singulair) according to researchers at National Jewish Medical and Research Center. Associate Professor of Pediatrics Nathan Rabinovitch, MD, and his colleagues also identified two biomarkers that may help physicians predict even more precisely which patients will benefit from montelukast.
These findings will help doctors know in advance which patients are most likely to benefit from montelukast and to tailor an effective treatment regimen for specifically them, said Dr. Rabinovitch.
The study was recently published online and will appear in the June issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Inhaled corticosteroids are considered the first-line treatment for cases of persistent asthma. However, steroids alone do not effectively control asthma in 30 percent to 40 percent of patients and they may have some side effects, especially in children. In those cases, a secondary medication is often used. Montelukast is one such medication.
Montelukast, one of the most widely prescribed medications for asthma and allergies, blocks the action of chemicals called leukotrienes, which contribute to inflammation. However, physicians have found that montelukast is quite variable in its effectiveness, helping some patients but not others. Dr. Rabinovitch and his colleagues set out to better understand its variable effectiveness.
They followed the 27 asthmatic students from the Kunsberg School on the National Jewish campus for five months. The children received daily montelukast or a placebo without any change in their other asthma medications. The primary measure of asthma control was how often children needed to use their short-acting rescue medication albuterol.
Before the children began taking montelukast, researchers found that when leukotriene levels in their urine rose, the children used 20 to 25% more albuterol tw
|Contact: William Allstetter|
National Jewish Medical and Research Center