Montelukast as an Add-On Therapy to Inhaled Corticosteroids in the Treatment of Severe Asthma in Elderly Patients
Journal of Asthma, 07/02/2012
Bozek A et al. – Severe asthma in elderly patients is very poorly treated, with this population exhibiting very low compliance with antiasthmatic therapy. Adding montelukast provides benefits and improved control; however, it does not resolve severe asthma control problems.Methods
- Elderly patients (>60 years old) with diagnoses of severe asthma were observed over 24 months of therapy: the first 12 months using inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and long–acting beta–agonists (LABA) and the second 12 months with oral montelukast added in two–thirds of the patients, with the remaining third representing the control group.
- The primary efficacy endpoint of the study was the percentage of days without asthma symptoms in the first 12 months of treatment compared with the percentage after adding montelukast therapy.
- A total of 512 elderly, asthmatic patients were included in the study:
- Seventy–one (13.9%) patients had well–controlled asthma, 211 (41.2%) had partly controlled asthma, and 230 (44.9%) had uncontrolled asthma.
- During the first year of treatment using ICS and LABA, an increase in the median percentage of days without asthma was observed from 50.1% to 62.1%, as well as a decrease in the percentage of days with short beta–receptor agonist use, from 52.2% to 46.8%.
- These differences were significantly greater after 12 months, when montelukast was added to the therapy (78.4% and 39.5%, respectively).
- This improvement was not observed in the control group.
- After 2 years of observation, the median number of asthma exacerbation incidents per patient decreased from 1.6 per year to 1.2 per year when montelukast was added.