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Clin Sci (Lond). 2013 Apr;124(8):521-8. doi: 10.1042/CS20120528.

Tailored second-line therapy in asthmatic children with the Arg(16) genotype.

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  • 1Asthma and Allergy Research Group, Division of Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Dundee, Dundee DD2 4BF, Scotland, UK.


The Arg(16) β(2) receptor genotype confers increased susceptibility to exacerbations in asthmatic children taking regular LABA (long-acting β(2) agonists). We therefore evaluated using montelukast as an alternative to salmeterol as tailored second-line asthma controller therapy in children expressing this susceptible genotype. A total of 62 persistent asthmatic children with the homozygous Arg16 genotype were randomized to receive salmeterol (50 μg, b.i.d.) or montelukast (5 or 10 mg, once daily) as an add-on to inhaled fluticasone for 1 year. School absences (the primary outcome) were reduced with montelukast compared with salmeterol {difference in score=-0.40 [95% CI (confidence interval), -0.22 to -0.58]; P=0.005}. Salbutamol use was also reduced with montelukast compared with salmeterol [difference in score=-0.47 (95% CI, -0.16 to -0.79); P<0.0001]. Greater improvements occurred in both symptom and quality of life scores with montelukast against salmeterol, whereas there was no difference in FEV(1) (forced expiratory volume in 1 s). In conclusion, montelukast may be suitable as tailored second-line controller therapy instead of salmeterol in asthmatic children expressing the susceptible Arg(16) genotype, a move towards a personalized medicine approach to management.


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