ICS most effective for persistent asthma in children

While both inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRA) have been proven to help control mild-to-moderate persistent asthma in school-age children, a new study shows ICS may be the more effective treatment.

Response Profiles to Fluticasone and Montelukast in Mild-to-Moderate Persistent Childhood Asthma is featured in the January 2006 issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI) and is currently available on the JACI's Web site at www.jacionline.org. The JACI is the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI).

The 16-week study was conducted as a multi-center, double-masked, 2-sequence crossover trial by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Childhood Asthma Research and Education (CARE) Network. Researchers, led by Robert S. Zeiger, MD, PhD, from the University of California San Diego Department of Pediatrics, administered an ICS (fluticasone propionate) twice daily or an LTRA (montelukast) nightly to more than 100 children ages 6 to 17 who had mild-to-moderate persistent asthma.

Researchers found both fluticasone and montelukast led to significant improvements in many measures of asthma control. However, similar to earlier research, they found strong evidence of greater mean improvements after 8 weeks of therapy with an ICS compared with a LTRA across many other outcomes.

Patients taking ICS experienced more asthma control days (ACD) in which they had no daytime or night time asthma symptoms, along with better pulmonary responses and inflammatory biomarkers. As a comparison, 29.3 % of participants had at least one more ACD per week during treatment with fluticasone than during treatment with montelukast (12.2 %).

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To find an allergist/immunologist in your area, call the AAAAI Physician Referral and Information Line at (800) 822-2762 or visit the AAAAI Web site at www.aaaai.org.

The AAAAI is the largest professional medical specialty organization in the United States representing allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic disease. Allergy/immunology specialists are pediatric or internal medicine physicians who have elected an additional two years of training to become specialized in the treatment of asthma, allergy and immunologic disease. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more than 6,000 members in the United States, Canada and 60 other countries. The AAAAI serves as an advocate to the public by providing educational information through its Web site at www.aaaai.org.


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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