Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in children: montelukast attenuates the immediate-phase and late-phase responses

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003 Feb;111(2):301-7. doi: 10.1067/mai.2003.66.


Background: Montelukast, a leukotriene receptor antagonist, attenuates exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. We and others have shown that there is a late-phase response 3 to 8 hours after exercise in a subset of asthmatic patients.

Objective: We sought to evaluate the protective effect of montelukast on immediate-phase and late-phase responses after exercise challenges.

Methods: Twenty-two atopic asthmatic children aged 7 to 16 years with reproducible exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (minimum of 15% decrease of FEV(1) from baseline) were enrolled in this placebo-controlled crossover study. Exercise challenges were performed while breathing cold dry air, and FEV(1) measurements were taken up to 480 minutes after exercise. Patients underwent exercise challenges on a screening day and 1 week after placebo treatment. Subsequently, after a week with no treatment, pulmonary function was assessed after breathing dry cold air (control day). Finally, an exercise challenge was carried out after a week of treatment with montelukast.

Results: Reproducible late-phase reactions occurred in 5 of 22 patients, which correlated with the extent of the immediate response (P <.05). After 1 week of treatment with montelukast, a significant decrease of immediate responses was observed. Montelukast treatment compared with placebo was associated with a lower mean maximum decrease of FEV(1) (mean +/- SEM: 17.3% +/- 2.4% and 35.1% +/- 2.6%, respectively), decrease of the area above the curve (267.8% +/- 42.7%/min and 868.0% +/- 103.8%/min, respectively), and shorter time for recovery (6.9 +/- 1.1 minutes and 30.9 +/- 4.0 minutes, respectively; P <.05). Treatment with montelukast also abolished late-phase responses.

Conclusion: Once daily treatment with oral montelukast attenuated the immediate-phase response and abolished the late-phase response induced by means of exercise challenge in asthmatic children.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / administration & dosage
  • Acetates / therapeutic use*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Bronchoconstriction / drug effects*
  • Child
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Leukotriene Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Leukotriene Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Quinolines / administration & dosage
  • Quinolines / therapeutic use*


  • Acetates
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Leukotriene Antagonists
  • Quinolines
  • montelukast