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Leukotriene Antagonist

What is this medicine used for?

Leukotriene antagonists are medicines used to prevent asthma symptoms. This medicine is taken every day, even when your child is not having symptoms. This medicine is called a controller medicine because when it’s taken regularly every day, it helps to control symptoms.

Leukotriene antagonists do not give quick relief of wheezing in acute asthma attacks. For acute attacks, your child needs a different type of medicine called a reliever.

This medicine may also help control a stuffy or runny nose caused by an allergy.

Asthma symptoms are caused by 2 different problems in the airways.

  • One problem is that the muscles in the airways tighten up, which causes the feeling of chest tightness and wheezing.
  • The other problem is swelling, irritation, and too much mucus in the airways.

Asthma symptoms often start after exposure to a trigger. Asthma triggers can include pollen, animals, mold, colds, exercise, cold air, and air pollutants. It’s important to know what things trigger your child's asthma symptoms. Help your child avoid the things that trigger an asthma attack. Your child should keep reliever medicine with him at all times in case he has an asthma attack.

How does it work?

The body makes chemicals called leukotrienes. These chemicals make the airways tighten up. They also cause irritation and swelling of the lining of the airway. Leukotriene antagonist medicine blocks the effects of leukotrienes so your child will have less irritation, swelling, and muscle tightness. Then your child will have fewer symptoms and be able to breathe better.

Leukotriene antagonists are available as pills, chewable tablets, extended-release tablets, or granules that can be mixed with food.

What else do I need to know about this medicine?

  • Follow the directions that come with your child’s medicine, including information about food or alcohol. Make sure you know how and when your child needs to take the medicine. Your child should not take more or less than he or she is supposed to take.
  • Try to get all of your child’s prescriptions filled at the same place. Your pharmacist can help make sure that all of your child’s medicines are safe to take together.
  • Keep a list of your child’s medicines with you. List all of the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that your child takes. Tell all healthcare providers who treat your child about all of the products your child takes.
  • Many medicines have side effects. A side effect is a symptom or problem that is caused by the medicine. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist what side effects the medicine may cause and what you should do if your child has side effects.

If you have any questions, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information. Be sure to keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Pediatric Advisor 2013.2 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-12-09
Last reviewed: 2012-12-03
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2013 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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