Background: Montelukast and ketotifen are commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory medications used in the treatment of childhood asthma.
Methods: To investigate the modulation effect of montelukast and ketotifen, the levels of exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) and plasma matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) were analyzed in a group of 30 children with mild persistent asthma.
Results: Patients on montelukast therapy for 8 weeks had significantly decreased levels of eNO and plasma MMP-9, which were associated with improved symptoms and enhanced peak expiratory flow but not significantly associated with increased level of tissue inhibitor metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1). In contrast, treatment with ketotifen produced no significant changes in these parameters until 4-6 weeks into the therapy and no effect on plasma MMP-9.
Conclusion: Leukotriene antagonists, such as montelukast, may be better non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for preventing airway inflammation in mild childhood asthma.