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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2000 Apr;105(4):704-10.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the effect of zafirlukast on upper and lower respiratory responses to cat challenge.

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Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.



Zafirlukast, a leukotriene antagonist, has been shown to have protective effects against a variety of asthma triggers.


Our purpose was to evaluate zafirlukast's effects on upper and lower airway responses to cat allergen exposure with use of a well-characterized cat exposure model.


In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial 18 subjects with cat-induced asthma were randomly assigned to receive 1 week each of zafirlukast or placebo followed by a 1-hour cat challenge. Upper and lower respiratory symptoms were rated and spirometry and acoustic rhinometry were performed. Challenges were stopped early if the subject was too uncomfortable or had a >50% decrease in FEV(1).


Overall changes in FEV(1) were significantly different with zafirlukast treatment (P = .02). Significant differences in FEV(1) change were detected at 15 and 30 minutes (P = .027 and .05, respectively) but not at 45 and 60 minutes. Changes in acoustic rhinometry were also significantly different at 15 and 30 minutes (P =.05 and .0005, respectively) but not at 45 and 60 minutes. Challenge length was significantly longer with zafirlukast versus placebo after adjustment for differences in allergen exposure (P = .022). Respiratory symptom scores were significantly different (lower respiratory, P < .001; upper respiratory, P = .038) through the first 30 minutes of the challenge after adjustment for allergen exposure.


Zafirlukast was significantly more effective than placebo in preserving pulmonary function and nasal anatomy and extending challenge length when cat-sensitive asthmatic subjects were exposed to high levels of cat allergen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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