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How effective are leukotriene modifiers for the treatment of asthma?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

For asthma not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids, adding a leukotriene modifier may improve lung function, reduce asthma symptoms, and reduce the use of quick-relief medication. The effect of adding a leukotriene modifier drug may be similar to increasing the dose of inhaled corticosteroid. The addition of a leukotriene modifier sometimes makes it possible to reduce the dose of inhaled corticosteroid.

Leukotriene modifiers are an alternative treatment option for people with mild, persistent asthma. Only montelukast is recommended for children under 5 years old. Zafirlukast may be considered for children from ages 5 to 11. Any of the leukotriene modifiers are appropriate for adults and children 12 years and older. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.