Herbal anti-malarial drug may also help control asthma

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Washington: A new study has revealed that artesunate, a commonly used herbal anti-malarial drug may also help in controlling asthma.

Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) found that asthmatic patients might soon have a more effective way to control the condition.

The team revealed for the first time that artesunate would be able to suppress airway inflammation and produce an array of anti-inflammatory effects similar to those by dexamethasone, the most potent steroid currently available, and with less side effects.

Researchers 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, dexamethasone.

Their collective results revealed that long term usage of steroids might induce many potential side effects in asthmatic patients, so the significance of this study suggested that the patients might eventually be able to adopt artesunate as a safer and more effective alternative to control their asthma.

The study is published in the journal Metabolomics. 

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