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J Asthma. 2012 Aug;49(6):637-41. doi: 10.3109/02770903.2012.685539. Epub 2012 Jun 29.

Effects of a short course of pranlukast combined with systemic corticosteroid on acute asthma exacerbation induced by upper respiratory tract infection.

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  • 1Second Department of Internal Medicine, University School of Medicine, 1-7-1 Sakamoto, Nagasaki, Japan.



Upper respiratory tract infections (URIs) represent the most frequent cause of acute asthma exacerbation. Systemic corticosteroid (CS) is presently recommended for URI-induced asthma exacerbation, although it might inhibit cellular immunity against respiratory virus infection.


To determine the effects of adding a short course (2 weeks) of a leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA) to systemic CS on URI-induced acute asthma exacerbation.


Twenty-three adult asthmatics (mean age, 42.8 ± 9.8 y; Male:Female, 10:13) with URI-induced acute asthma exacerbation confirmed by a questionnaire and physical findings were randomly assigned to receive either oral prednisolone (PSL) alone or oral PSL plus the LTRA pranlukast (PRL) for 2 weeks (PSL + PRL). The cumulative doses of PSL and the amount of time required to clear asthma-related symptoms were determined. Levels of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) RNA and influenza viral (IV) antigen in nasopharyngeal swabs were also determined.


Adding PRL significantly reduced the cumulative dose of PSL and tended to reduce the time required to clear asthma-related symptoms. Either RSV or IV was detected in about one-third of the patients.


The combination of an LTRA and CS might be more useful than CS alone for treating URI-induced acute exacerbation of asthma and reducing the cumulative CS dose.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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