Effectiveness of montelukast versus budesonide on quality of life and bronchial reactivity in subjects with mild-persistent asthma

Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2002 May-Aug;15(2):149-155. doi: 10.1177/039463200201500210.


Insufficient data exist to evaluate the comparative effects of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) versus leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA) on airway inflammation and quality of life (QoL). The aim of the study was to compare the effectiveness of montelukast compared to budesonide at different doses on QoL and bronchial reactivity in mild-asthmatic adult patients. 45 subjects with bronchial asthma were randomly assigned to a different treatment and divided in 3 treatment groups: A: 400 mg of budesonide twice a day; B: 10 mg of montelukast daily; C: 10 mg of montelukast daily plus 400 mg of budesonide twice a day. At the beginning of the study and at the end of the treatment period (16 weeks) all patients underwent complete clinical evaluation, pulmonary function testing and methacholine challenge test (MCHt). In group A the increase from baseline was 153.4%, in group C was 133.2%, and in group B 247.7%, the latter increase being statistically significant compared to that in the other 2 groups (p< 0.005 Wilcoxon test). In all domains the improvement in quality of life in the group treated with montelukast (group B) was significantly greater than that in the group treated with both medications (group C): in particular, the improvement was consistent in the symptoms (p< 0.01) and emotions (p< 0.01) domains, and weaker in the physical activity (p< 0.05). A similar difference was observed between group B and A, but only in the symptoms (p<0.01), emotions (p<0.01), and environmental stimuli domains (p<0.05). The personal perception of their own disease is important for a correct therapeutic management of asthma. In order to optimize the treatment, a complete adherence of the patient to the treatment itself is required, to be achieved through simplification of therapeutic schedule and easy administration of medications. Montelukast may be considered a valid alternative in the treatment of mild-persistent asthma, both for the clinical and functional benefits and for the great advantage of the once-daily dosage, which consistently improves the compliance with the chronic treatment of the disease.