Determine Efficacy of a Short Course of Montelukast in Children with Intermittent Asthma and Viral Infection

Introduction Mild intermittent asthma is common in children and viral infections are responsible for the majority of exacerbations. As leukotrienes are potent inflammatory mediators, some studies have shown that Montelukast, a leukotriene receptor antagonist, may be effective on reduction of asthma symptom. To determine whether a short course of Montelukast in asthmatic children with common cold would modify the severity of an asthma episode. Materials and Methods Children, aged 6-12 years with intermittent asthma participated in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Treatment with Montelukast or placebo was initiated at the onset of viral upper respiratory tract infection and continued for 7 days. Primary outcomes included the clinical manifestation: duration of episodes, daily symptom, nights symptoms and activity limitation. Secondary outcomes included the need for beta agonist usage, oral prednisolone, physician visit, hospital admission and school absence. Results A total of 187 children with intermittent asthma were randomized, 93 to Montelukast group and 94 to placebo group. Montelukast significantly decreased the cough by 17.3% (P<0.001), nighttime awakenings by 5.4% (P=0.01), interference with normal activity by 6% (P<0.01), time off from school by 6% (P<0.01), ?-agonist usage by 17.2% (P<0.001) and doctor visits by12.2% (P<0.01) compared to placebo. Whereas there was a non significant reduction in wheezing, tachypnea, respiratory distress, asthma exacerbation, oral prednisolone and hospitalization (P=0.8). Conclusion A short course of Montelukast, introduced at the first sign of a viral infection, results in a reduction in cough, ?-agonist use and nights awakened, time off from school and limitation of activity. More studies are needed to evaluate the optimal dose and duration of treatment.

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Keywords: Intermittent Asthma, Montelukast, Viral infection.

ISSN: 2345-5047

EISSN: 2345-5055


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