Once-a-day asthma pill `more effective than inhaler`

A once-a-day pill could revolutionise treatment for asthma freeing patients from the tyranny of inhalers.

Updated: May 05, 2011, 18:01 PM IST

London: A once-a-day pill could revolutionise treatment for asthma, freeing patients from the tyranny of inhalers, which many find difficult to use.

Scientists have found that the pills, known as leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs), were just as good at treating symptoms as inhalers, and patients were far more likely to remember to take them.

Although the pills have been available for several years, known by their brand names Singulair and Accolate, they are less commonly prescribed, reports the New England Journal of Medicine.

Around 5.4 million people in Britain have asthma, including 1.1 million children. Researchers looked at 650 patients aged 12 to 80, who had either used preventative inhalers or LTRA pills, according to the Daily Mail.

Their study concludes that 80 percent of asthmatics who don`t like using preventative inhalers could take the daily pill instead.
Prof David Price, from the University of Aberdeen and the University of East Anglia, who led the study, said: "We hope these findings will increase the options for healthcare professionals when prescribing for this common but disruptive disease."