Medscape is reporting that orally administered leukotriene-receptor antagonists (LTRAs), alone or with inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs), significantly improve asthma control and reduced exacerbations.

Researchers conducted a systematic review in order to evaluate the bene?ts and harms of LTRAs as monotherapy or in combination with ICSs compared with placebo in adults and adolescents with asthma. Results were published online September 22 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Successful long-term management of asthma includes the use of medications that target the underlying in?ammatory process,” wrote researchers, according to Medscape. “Although [ICSs] constitute the current gold standard of maintenance treatment, [LTRAs] have the advantages of oral once- or twice-daily dosing and apparent avoidance of the adverse effects associated with long-term corticosteroid therapy.”

According to the research, LTRAs cut the risk for an exacerbation by 40% compared with placebo, based on random-effects meta-analyses of six trials of LTRA monotherapy. Reduction in risk for an exacerbation was 20% in four trials of LTRAs as add-on therapy to ICSs, Medscape reported.

When used either as monotherapy or add-on therapy to ICSs, LTRAs increased forced expiratory volume in 1 second compared with placebo. However, LTRAs were associated with improved forced expiratory volume in 1 second percentage of predicted values only in trials of LTRA monotherapy.

Medscape reported that, on the basis of their findings, the investigators concluded that LTRAs as monotherapy improved asthma control compared with placebo, and that the effect was consistent across all types of LTRAs. Only some measures of asthma control were significantly improved in trials of LTRAs used as add-on therapy to ICSs.