Improving asthma control in patients suboptimally controlled on inhaled steroids and long-acting beta2-agonists: addition of montelukast in an open-label pilot study
Dupont, Lieven × Potvin, Emmanuel Korn, Dana Lachman, Albert Dramaix, Michèle Gusman, Julie Peché, Rudi #
Current medical research and opinion vol:21 issue:6 pages:863-9
BACKGROUND: Airway inflammation and symptoms often persist in asthma patients despite treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and long-acting beta2-agonists (LABA). It is hypothesized that the leukotriene receptor antagonist montelukast, treating a pathway of inflammation distinct from that of ICS, might confer additional benefit. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of montelukast in improving asthma control in patients symptomatic on a fixed-association (FA) medium dose of ICS and LABA. METHODS: A 2-month, open-label, real-life observational study was undertaken by 131 Belgian pulmonologists. Patients (> or = 15 years old) suffering from persistent asthma (pre-bronchodilator FEV1 > or = 60% of predicted value) and insufficiently controlled on a FA therapy of fluticasone/salmeterol or budesonide/formoterol were given montelukast 10 mg daily as add-on therapy. Asthma control was assessed by the standardized Juniper asthma control questionnaire (ACQ) at baseline and after a 2-month treatment with montelukast. Global evaluation of therapy was made both by the patients and physicians. RESULTS: A total of 313 patients were eligible for analysis. Forty-nine per cent received inhaled fluticasone/salmeterol and the rest budesonide/formoterol. Mean ACQ score decreased significantly on montelukast (13.9 +/- 5.1 at baseline versus 7.4 +/- 4.7 on montelukast, p < 0.001), with a significant improvement in all individual symptom scores (p < 0.001) and in pre-bronchodilator FEV1 score (from 2.2 +/- 1.5 to 1.6 +/- 1.4; p < 0.001). Parallel to these results, 78.6% of the patients reported a global improvement of their asthma. The same proportion of improvement was observed in the global evaluation made by the physicians (kappa = 0.66). CONCLUSION: This pilot study suggests that addition of montelukast in patients symptomatic on a FA of ICS and LABA may result in significant improvements in asthma control. A randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial seems warranted.