▼Montelukast (Singulair - Merck Sharp & Dohme) and ▼zafirlukast (Accolate - Zeneca) are two of a new class of drugs for the treatment of asthma that have recently been marketed in the UK - the leukotriene receptor antagonists. Montelukast is licensed as add-on therapy in adults and children (6 years and over) with mild to moderate persistent asthma which is inadequately controlled by inhaled corticosteroids and 'as needed' short-acting ß-agonists. It is also licensed for the prophylaxis of asthma in which the predominant component is exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Zafirlukast has recently been licensed in the UK "for the treatment of asthma" in adults and children (over 12 years of age). In this article, we assess the place of these two new drugs in the treatment of asthma.
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