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Review: antileukotrienes are less effective than inhaled corticosteroids in chronic asthma

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 QUESTION: In patients with chronic asthma, are daily antileukotrienes (ALs) as safe and effective as inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs)?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline (1966–2002), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1980–2002), CINAHL (1982–2002), the Cochrane Airways Group register of randomised controlled trials (RCTs), the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (to January 2002); checking the reference lists of all relevant trials; contacting the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture ALs; and contacting colleagues and trialists in the field of paediatric asthma.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were RCTs comparing daily oral ALs at usual licensed doses with any type of ICS in children ≥2 years of age and adults with chronic asthma. Interventions had to be administered for ≥30 days.

Data extraction

Data were extracted independently by 2 reviewers blinded to identifying information about …

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  • For correspondence: Dr F Ducharme, Montreal Children’s Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.francine.ducharme{at}

  • Abstract and commentary also appear in ACP Journal Club.

  • Source of funding: Fonds de la Santé du Québec Canada.