Loratadine reduces exercise-induced asthma

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Exercise-induced asthma is reduced, but not prevented, in children treated with loratadine, according to a report in the January issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, Drs. Fazil Orhan and A. Baki, of Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey, examined the effect of loratadine on exercise-induced asthma. They treated 11 children with 10 mg oral loratadine or placebo, once daily for 3 days.

They measured forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 2 hours after the last dose and the patients then exercised on a treadmill. FEV1 measurements were repeated at 0, 2, 5, 10, 15, and 30 minutes after exercise.

"Mean FEV1 of the…11 patients was 81% of predicted at entry to the study," the authors note. "Mean pre-exercise (baseline) FEV1 was 2.16 liters on the loratadine day, and 2.08 liters on the placebo day." They observed no significant difference between the mean percentage fall in FEV1 after exercise in children treated with placebo (p > 0.05).

The physicians did observe a significant reduction in mean percentage fall in FEV1 after exercise at 2, 5, 10, 15, and 30 minutes in loratadine-treated patients when compared with placebo-treated patients (p < 0.05). "However, the mean decrease in FEV1 after exercise at 5 minutes was more than 15% of baseline in the loratadine group."

Based on these findings, they conclude that "loratadine, once daily for 3 days, reduces exercise-induced bronchoconstriction but does not prevent it." The researchers point out that additional studies with more patients are needed to investigate the therapeutic potential of loratadine in exercised-induced asthma.

Arch Dis Child 2002;86:38-39.

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