Formoterol versus montelukast as add on therapy to low dose budesonide in persistent asthma: effect on lung function

Divya G. Krishnan, Anukesh Vasu Keloth


Background: Choice between LABAs and LTRAs as add on drugs to low dose ICS in persistent asthma remains unclear due to limited data on the comparative efficacy of these two groups of drugs. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of formoterol and montelukast on lung function, when added to low dose Budesonide in persistent asthma.

Methods: This was an institution based randomized open label study. 72 asthmatics satisfying selection criteria of the study were randomized to receive either inhaled budesonide and formoterol (FB group) or inhaled budesonide and oral montelukast (MB group) for 12 weeks. PEF value at end point was primary efficacy measure. Secondary efficacy measures were PEF values measured at the end of 1, 4 and 8 weeks and the end point value of FEV1.

Results: Both the groups showed significant improvement in the lung function tests. However inter-group comparison showed that PEF value at end point of FB group was significantly greater than that of MB group (81.94%vs 63.82%, p<0.05). Notable observation was that the superiority of the FB group with respect to PEF values was maintained from the first week itself. FB group also had significantly better results than MB group for FEV1 (67.88% vs 64.88%, p<0.05).

Conclusions: In the present study, formoterol was found to be superior to montelukast in improving lung function when added to low dose budesonide in persistent asthma.


Budesonide, Formoterol, Lung function, Montelukast

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