Prather Pediatric and Allergy Center - Ask Doctor Brent

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Title: New Asthma Therapies

Category: Lagniappe - a little extra


At the recent American Academy of Allergy meeting, several new asthma therapies were discussed. One is a drug called Lutrol or Zileutin. It blocks a group of chemicals called leukotrienes which causes bronchial constriction and inflammation. This new drug which will be taken orally will be the first major new class of
asthma drugs to come out in twenty-five years. It will treat both the early and late phase of asthma response and will be a major break-through.

Another new drug that came out last year was Serevent which is a 12-hour bronchodilator and allows children and adults to stay wheeze-free throughout their school and work day and throughout the night. This is another major break-through in asthma therapy.

Serevent takes thirty minutes to kick in so it is ideal for
maintenance asthma therapy but not good for rescue therapy because of that thirty minute delay. It is very important that every person on Serevent has a rescue medication such as Proventil, Ventolin or Alupent which kicks in within minutes. 

Two other new asthma therapies available soon are budesonide and fluticasone which may be the safest and most effect anti-inflammatory medication that we have ever had. They are presently being used in nasal sprays very effectively and soon will be available as lung sprays for asthmatics. 

Also, at the recent asthma meeting, there was a tremendous amount of talk about latex allergy which is increasing constantly particularly in health care workers. Many latex allergy patients show cross reactivity to bananas, avocados and pears. They should watch those foods in their diet very carefully.

Finally, a full day was spent at the convention reinforcing the importance of environmental control particularly to dust mites, dog and cat hair, cockroaches and molds in our homes, schools and workplaces. If we do not control those problems, all of the therapies in the world won't control our allergies.