Exercise-Induced Asthma

There may be help for your members who have exercise-induced asthma. A new drug called montelukast has been found to be effective in preventing asthma symptoms, such tightness in the chest, wheezing and difficulty breathing, during exercise and improving lung function after exercise.

In a recent study, researchers tested the effects of montelukast and an older drug used to treat exercise-induced asthma called salmeterol. Participants of the study, 191 people with exercise-induced asthma, were given placebo pills or sprays for the first two weeks. Then the participants were divided into two groups, either the montelukast or the salmeterol group, and took their medication at bedtime every night. Both groups were measure for lung function at the beginning of the study and several times during the study.

Within three days, both groups showed improvements in reducing exercise-induced asthma symptoms, but only the montelukast group experienced improved lung function after exercise. The salmeterol group had diminished effects after four weeks of use, and some participants developed a tolerance to the medication over time. Researchers also found that long-term use of montelukast could prevent the onset of exercise-induced asthma more at one dose than salmeterol does at two doses daily Annals of Internal Medicine.

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