Also known as leukotriene modifiers. These novel medicines interfere with the activities of leukotrienes, which are inflammatory molecules released during the allergic reaction from some cells of our body including mast cells and oesinophil. These mediators are primarily responsible for the bronchoconstriction, mucous secretion and oedema.
Leukotrienes antagonists inhibit the release of leukotrienes from mast cells and eosinophils or block the specific receptors on the bronchial tissues; which prevent the symptoms of asthma and rhinitis such as bronchoconstriction, mucous secretion and oedema. These oral, non- steroidal, anti-inflammatory medicines reduce the incidence of acute asthma while taken regularly and reduce the symptoms of chronic asthma as well. All leukotriene modifiers are available only in tablet or syrup form.
Depending on the stages of asthma leukotrine modifiers can be used to treat the asthma symptoms with or without corticosteroids.They are weaker on their own to combat asthma symptoms however, these particular types of medicine are known to reduce and/or prevent scarring and inflammation of the trachea and airways and bronchospasm.
There are two families of leukotrienes. The first group acts primarily in conditions in which inflammation is dependent on neutrophils, such as cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis. The second group (cysteinyl-leukotrienes) is concerned primarily with eosinophil and mast cell induced bronchoconstriction in asthma. They bind to highly selective receptors on bronchial smooth muscle and other airway tissue (Annals of Internal Medicine1997; 127:472-80).