ATTENTION: The ATS news tip posted on Friday, February 11th, 2005 and embargoed for 6 a.m. on February 15th, 2005 mistakenly contained a reference to a community-acquired pneumonia statement. This statement should not have been included. Please disregard this piece of the press release.
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MONTELUKAST SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCES ASTHMA EXACERBATIONS IN YOUNG CHILDREN
Montelukast, a leukotriene receptor antagonist, significantly decreased the rate of exacerbations and lengthened the time between exacerbations in 2- to 5-year-old asthma patients who suffered from intermittent symptoms. The researchers pointed out that montelukast significantly reduced by almost 32 percent the rate of exacerbations over 12 months, as compared with results from patients on placebo. The average rate of exacerbation episodes was 1.60 episodes per patient per year, compared with 2.34 for placebo. (Leukotrienes are biologically active compounds that function as chemical mediators. They have vasoactive properties that help regulate allergic and inflammatory reactions. Medical antagonists are designed to counteract specific functions.) According to the authors, asthma usually begins and has its greatest prevalence in children younger than 5 years.
This age group often has intermittent symptoms, which include long assymptomatic periods interrupted by episodes of asthma generally in association with the common cold. Viral infections, predominately with rhinovirus, account for up to 85 percent of childhood asthma exacerbations and daily symptoms. The investigators claim that there are usually minimal symptoms between episodes. The 1-year study directed at exacerbation control was conducted at 68 sites in 23 countries. It involved 278 children
Contact: Cathy Carlomagno
American Thoracic Society