Background: The Clinical Outcomes with Montelukast as a Partner Agent to Corticosteroid Therapy (COMPACT) trial demonstrated that montelukast added to budesonide (MNT + BD) was as efficacious as double the dose of budesonide (dBD) in improving morning peak expiratory flow (AM PEF) in adult asthmatics. Recent studies have demonstrated that montelukast is also effective in treating daytime and nighttime allergic rhinitis (AR) symptoms in asthmatic patients. This analysis was designed to examine whether asthmatic patients with comorbid AR respond differently than patients without comorbid AR in terms of asthma control (lung function).
Methods: There were 216 asthmatic patients in the MNT+BD group and 184 patients in the dBD group with AR. Treatment differences in the change from baseline in AM PEF were compared. Least square (LS) mean and 95% confidence interval (CI) were derived from an anova model adjusting for baseline and study site.
Results: There was a 9.2% increase in AM PEF from baseline in the MNT+BD group compared with a 6% increase in the dBD group. The LS mean difference [(MNT+BD)-dBD] was 14.2 l/min (P=0.028). Other secondary endpoints were similar between groups.
Conclusion: In the subgroup of asthmatic patients with AR, a combined treatment approach that included montelukast and budesonide provided significantly greater efficacy in reducing airflow obstruction compared with doubling the dose of budesonide. These results support recommendations by the Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma initiative that suggest a unified approach aimed at treating the airway inflammation common to both diseases is beneficial for the large proportion of asthmatics who also suffer from AR.