Montelukast, an oral anti-inflammatory drug, appeared to help children with mild sleep-disordered breathing. The drug, used to treat asthma and allergic rhinitis, may be an alternative to surgery for the removal of tonsils and adenoids in these children. The findings came after a 16-week study that included 24 children.
The results of the study, reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (August 1, 2005), showed that the oral therapy resulted in reductions in the size of the patients' adenoids and fewer respiratory sleep disturbances. The findings back up the existence of a chronic inflammatory process in children with obstructive sleep apnea.
"Systemic anti-inflammatory agents with safe therapeutic profiles for use in children with sleep-disordered breathing could serve as an alternative treatment to removal of tonsils and adenoids," said researcher David Gozal, MD.