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Paediatr Respir Rev. 2009 Dec;10(4):214-9. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2009.06.007. Epub 2009 Sep 25.

Anti-inflammatory drug therapy in asthma.

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  • 1Department of Paediatric Pulmonology and Allergy, Beatrix Children's Hospital/University Medical Centre Groningen, RB Groningen, The Netherlands.


Asthma is a disease with chronic inflammation of the airways and and-inflammatory treatment is a logical treatment. Inhaled corticosteroids [ICS] remain the cornerstone of anti-inflammatory therapy in recent international guidelines. Asthma cannot be cured by any medication: if the drug is discontinued, the disease manifestations return. This has been proven at all ages. In preschool children the diagnosis of asthma is difficult to establish. In this heterogeneous group ICS or leukotriene receptor antagonists [LTRA] are just as effective as placebo; in the future it will hopefully be possible to describe characteristics of responders. LTRA are an alternative in mild asthma, especially when mono-triggered viral related wheeze is present. Theophylline is effective and also has bronchodilatory properties, which need to be balanced against the relatively frequent side effects. The working mechanisms of anti-inflammatory asthma medications including ICS, LTRA, cromones, macrolides and theophylline are described.

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