Singapore: A common herbal anti-malarial drug can be used to control asthma, significant research shows.
According to researchers from National University of Singapore (NUS), the "artesunate" herbal drug can herald better treatment outcomes than other asthma drugs currently available.
The team studied the therapeutic effects of artesunate against oxidative stress and oxidative lung damage which are major inflammatory events that contribute to the severity of asthma attacks.
They found that artesunate could better prevent oxidative lung damage, a major molecular inflammatory event in asthmatic lungs, than clinically-used corticosteroid called dexamethasone.
"Artesunate can be used to better control asthma with improved outcomes and lesser adverse effects than currently available drugs," said Fred Wong, associate professor at department of pharmacology at NUS.
The study suggests that the patients may eventually be able to adopt artesunate as a safer and more effective alternative to control their asthma.
The team led by Eugene Ho Wanxing, a Ph.D. graduate from the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at NUS, will further explore the therapeutic and pharmacological effects of artesunate for asthma, as well as for other medical conditions.
This discovery appeared in the journal Metabolomics.