Something better than beta-agonist inhalers

Something better than beta-agonist inhalersA study has shown that patients prefer oral leukotriene-receptor antagonist treatment as compared to long-acting beta-agonist inhalers and following this, GPs have been urged by UK researchers.

Oral LTRAs seem to be more effective as compared to LABA inhalers, according to a study that was conducted on primary care patients with mild to moderate asthma.

They were found to be effective either as first-line therapy or in combination with inhaled steroids. Their effectiveness was seen when adherence rates were found to be better as compared with those on LABA-steriod combinations.

In about 158 patients, with an inhaled steroid as first-line controller therapy, there was a trial conducted in which either montelukast or zafirlukast were compared in about 148 patients.

There was a second trial conducted on about 170 patients and 182 patients. The first lot was on an LTRA and the second lot was on a long-acting beta-agonist, either salmeterol or formoterol. They were on this along with an inhaled corticosteroid as an add-on therapy.

According to lead researcher Professor David Price, a sessional GP in Norfolk and professor of primary care respiratory medicine at the University of Aberdeen, that LTRAs can be offered by GPs as a better alternative to steroid inhalers.