NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Mar 13 – The results of a 1-year observational study indicate that montelukast is only of "marginal utility" in the management of patients with persistent asthma, according to researchers at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California.
Drs. David A. Mathison and James A. Koziol note that although the efficacy of a new drug may be established in controlled trials, its utility "is determined by multiple uncontrollable factors in individual patients."
To investigate how useful the leukotriene receptor antagonist montelukast might be in practice, the researchers conducted a retrospective observational study of 110 patients. The patients who had persistent, but controlled asthma, had been prescribed montelukast "primarily for the corticosteroid-sparing effect."
The researchers determined the results of this therapy over 1 year by means of audits of medical records and responses to questionnaires. The findings were published in the February issue of Chest.
More than 56% of patients continued to receive the drug for the entire year. However, there was no difference in the use of inhaled or systemic corticosteroids or inhaled beta 2-agonists in this group compared with those who had discontinued montelukast.