Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Inhaled steroids preferred over cromolyn to treat asthma

20.04.2006


Adults and children with asthma will breathe deeper and have better control over their asthma with inhaled corticosteroids than with the medicine cromolyn, according to a new review of recent studies comparing the two treatments.



Adult asthma patients using inhaled steroids such as the brand names Beclovent, Pulmicort and Flovent had on average three fewer severe asthma flare-ups each year compared to patients using inhaled cromolyn, sold under the brand name Intal.

Patients taking the steroids also scored significantly higher on tests of lung function and used their "rescue" inhalers less often than those taking cromolyn, say James Guevara, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and colleagues.


The findings were similar for children, Guevara and colleagues add, saying that their review supports recent consensus in the medical community that favors inhaled corticosteroids as a first-choice treatment for asthma.

"To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review comparing the effects of cromolyn to the gold standard, inhaled steroids," Guevara said.

The review appears in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

The consensus still leaves room for cromolyn treatment, according to William Storms, M.D., an allergist at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and director of the William Storms Allergy Clinic in Colorado Springs.

"Any expert would agree that inhaled corticosteroids are preferred first-line therapy for treatment of persistent asthma, which requires daily therapy. But we also will agree with the NIH [National Institutes of Health] asthma guidelines, which state that cromolyn and other drugs are alternative therapies," Storms said.

Cromolyn, or sodium cromoglycate, and inhaled corticosteroids both block the action of certain inflammatory cells in the lungs. Physicians recommend both types of medication for persistent asthma, but individual studies disagree about which type of medication works best, the reviewers found.

"The safety of sodium cromoglycate has been well established, but the effectiveness of sodium cromoglycate in controlling asthma symptoms may be limited," Guevara said, adding that the lack of effective control might be one reason cromolyn has fallen out of favor compared to inhaled corticosteroids since the 1990s.

Cromolyn’s manufacturer has changed several times during the past two decades, which may also explain why the drug’s popularity has waned, Storms said. The succession of companies "did not spend one dollar in research in the past 20 years to study cromolyn. All of the data are old and most are forgotten," he said.

The Cochrane reviewers examined 17 studies involving 1279 children and eight studies involving 321 adults with asthma. They found no differences in serious side effects between those using the steroids and those using cromolyn, but acknowledge that adverse effects were reported inconsistently.

Guevara and colleagues conclude that inhaled corticosteroids were superior to cromolyn regardless of the severity of the asthma. They suggest the results are so decisive that future studies comparing the two types of drugs "may not be warranted."

Storms said some patients may still prefer to stay away from inhaled corticosteroids.

"We need to examine the total patient and treat the patient, not the disease. When I tell patients I am suggesting they take an ICS [inhaled corticosteroid], many of them get that wide-eyed gaze because of the word ’steroid.’ Then I discuss the fact that ICS are inhaled and not systemic but many patients would still prefer to try something else, if possible. That something else could be cromolyn," he says.

James Guevara | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hbns.org
http://www.chop.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

nachricht Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain
20.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>