The National Asthma Council Australia has updated its information paper: Leukotriene receptor antagonists in the management of childhood asthma to reflect the most recent clinical evidence.
The paper, which was last updated in 2007, details the role of Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs), such as the PBS-listed montelukast (SINGULAIR), in the treatment of children aged two to 14 years with mild persistent asthma, intermittent asthma, exercise-induced asthma or allergic rhinitis.
It examines the latest evidence-based findings and how they translate to every day practice and includes information about asthma diagnosis, assessing asthma severity, patterns of asthma in children and a suggested approach to preventive therapy in children.
According to Professor Peter van Asperen, paediatric respiratory physician from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and a key contributor to the paper, LTRAs represent a significant advance in preventive drug therapy for childhood asthma and the body of evidence pointing to their efficacy is continuing to grow.
“LTRAs have approved PBS listings as sole preventer therapy for children between two to 14 years of age with frequent intermittent or mild persistent asthma and as add on therapy, as an alternative to LABAs, for children aged six to 14 years on regular inhaled steroids who have ongoing activity related asthma,” Prof van Asperen explained.
New evidence, contained in the paper, supports the use of LTRAs to protect against exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in children, recommending that montelukast therapy be considered, in addition to inhaled corticosteroids, in children with exercise-induced asthma that is not controlled by ICS at an optimal dose.
The paper recommends that montelukast therapy also be considered in children with seasonal allergic rhinitis, based on good evidence from recent clinical trials.
It also explores the role of montelukast therapy for children with intermittent asthma or viral-induced wheeze, which accounts for around 95 per cent of childhood asthma.
Key findings from clinical trials indicate that LTRAs may help protect this group against asthma exacerbations associated with respiratory infections, when given as continual therapy or as short courses in response to the onset of infections.
The new edition of the National Asthma Council Australia information paper: Leukotriene receptor antagonists in the management of childhood asthma has been prepared by a panel of asthma specialists, including paediatric respiratory physicians and a general practitioner, with the support of an unrestricted educational grant from MSD (Australia).
MSD representatives will assist with the distribution of the paper, delivering it to general practitioners and pharmacists in coming months.
The paper can also be downloaded from the National Asthma Council Australia website: www.nationalasthma.org.au
The above information is from a National Asthma Council Australia media release.