Leukotriene receptor antagonists pranlukast and montelukast for treating asthma

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Introduction: The prevalence of bronchial asthma, which is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airway, is increasing worldwide. Although inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) play a central role in the treatment of asthma, they cannot achieve good control for all asthmatics, and medications such as leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) with bronchodilatory and anti-inflammatory effects often serve as alternatives or add-on drugs. Areas covered: Clinical trials as well as basic studies of montelukast and pranlukast in animal models are ongoing. This review report clarifies the current status of these two LTRAs in the treatment of asthma and their future direction. Expert opinion: LTRAs could replace ICS as first-line medications for asthmatics who are refractory to ICS or cannot use inhalant devices. Further, LTRAs are recommended for asthmatics under specific circumstances that are closely associated with cysteinyl leukotrienes (cysLTs). Considering the low incidence of both severe adverse effects and the induction of tachyphylaxis, oral LTRAs should be more carefully considered for treating asthma in the clinical environment. Several issues such as predicted responses, effects of peripheral airway and airway remodeling and alternative administration routes remain to be clarified before LTRAs could serve a more effective role in the treatment of asthma.


  • Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy

    Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy 15(3), 353-363, 2014-02

    Informa Healthcare


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