Prather Pediatric and Allergy Center - Ask Doctor Brent

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Title: New Asthma and Allergy Products

Category: Lagniappe - a little extra



There was recently an International Asthma meeting in New York. Several interesting papers were presented on new therapies for asthma and allergies. Two new inhaled corticosteroids sprays for treating asthma, Budesonide and Fluticasone, were discussed at length. These two new cortisone derivatives should provide new advantages in the treatment of asthma. The reason they are safe is
because they are not absorbed into the body but work on the surface of the bronchial lung tissue. This decreases inflammation effectively and safely. These new medicines are stronger than anything we have had in the past. They may also be safer because of very rapid body washout of all breakdown products. 

Another very important asthma medicine reviewed which is available since last year is Serevent. Serevent is a 12-hour bronchodilator.  It is given by spray into the lungs twice a day. It allows the majority of asthmatics to remain "wheeze free" throughout their school or work day. It helps asthmatics avoid typical flare ups with exercise during or after school. 

A fourth asthma medicine which is expected to come out during the next year is called Zileutin or Leutrol. It is a leukotriene blocking medication. Leukotrienes are a family of chemical mediators in our bodies which lead to both bronchial constriction and bronchial inflammation in asthma. Zileutin will be given orally. It will impact both the early and late phases of asthma inflammation. It will be the first major new class of asthma therapy in twenty-five years when it hits the American market soon.

A fifth possibility for future asthma medicines would be a combination of any of these four medicines. As an example, Serevent and Fluticasone in one single spray. This would allow a patient to take a few sprays of one single inhaler morning and night and control the two major components of asthma, broncho- constriction and inflammation. The future certainly looks exciting for better asthma control.