Effect of treatment with zileuton, a 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor, in patients with asthma: a randomized controlled trial
A new drug called zileuton may be an effective treatment for asthma. Zileuton belongs to a class of drugs that inhibit an enzyme involved in the synthesis of leukotrienes, which are inflammatory chemicals produced by the body. Researchers randomized 320 asthma patients to receive 600 milligrams (mg) of zileuton, 400 mg or a placebo four times a day for 13 weeks. Zileuton reduced the number of exacerbations requiring corticosteroids or beta-agonists and improved pulmonary function. It also increased the number of symptom-free days and nights and improved the quality of life overall. The higher dose provided greater benefits and was not associated with more adverse effects than the lower dose. Eight patients taking the drug experienced temporary abnormalities in liver function, which returned to normal following completion of the study.
Publication Name: JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association
Comparison of regularly scheduled with as-needed use of albuterol in mild asthma
People with mild asthma can control their disease just as well by using inhaled beta-agonist drugs only when needed. A study of 255 people with mild asthma who were randomly allocated to use inhaled albuterol regularly or only when needed found that there were no significant differences in asthma control or symptoms between the groups. Those taking albuterol regularly had a slight increase in bronchial responsiveness but this resolved when the drug was discontinued. Some physicians believe that the chronic use of beta-agonists might be responsible for the increased mortality rates seen since their introduction.
Publication Name: The New England Journal of Medicine
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