Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists

. Posted in ASTHMA

A new class of medication used in the treatment of bronchial asthma is leukotriene receptor antagonists. This medication blocks the release of the chemical compounds that are normally released by the inflammatory mucous membranes in the lung during the acute phases of asthma. Those chemical compounds, if not blocked, have a powerful constricting effect on the bronchial tubes. Sole therapy with this medication is reserved primarily for treatment of mild persistent asthma. It may also be added on to other therapies, such as inhaled corticosteroids, in more severe asthma. It has no beneficial effects in the treatment of acute, severe asthma attacks. The first generation in this class includes mon - telukast (Singulair) and zafirlukast (Accolate).

The latest agent in this class, Zyflo, has been shown to have an effect on a higher level of the inflammatory cascade. Studies have shown that when used regularly, it reduces the need for rescue inhalers, reduces the frequency of nighttime symptoms, and can improve the overall quality of life.

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