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Leukotriene Modifiers: Defining Appropriate Use

KEY POINT

Despite initially being approved by FDA only for use in patients with mild persistent asthma, the leukotriene modifiers were quickly used preferentially by physicians for patients whose conditions were in the moderate or severe persistent categories. Published evidence eventually caught up with and supported the effectiveness of these drugs in such patients, and the situation illustrates a tendency for physicians to use familiar medications in patients with less severe, more easily controlled asthma and to reserve other agents for more difficult cases, regardless of FDA labeling and the published literature.

SOURCES

Snyder L et al. Leukotriene modifier use and asthma severity: how is a new medication being used by adults with asthma? Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:617–22.