There are no published studies on the effects of leukotriene receptor antagonists or 5'-lipoxygenase inhibitors in COPD. There is evidence for increased formation of leukotriene B4 (LTB4) in COPD patients , suggesting that inhibition of LTB4 synthesis by a 5'-lipoxygenase inhibitor or blockage of LTB4-receptors on neutrophils by a receptor antagonist may be of potential benefit. Although a 5'-lipoxygenase inhibitor, zileuton, is available for the treatment of asthma in some countries, its effects in COPD have not yet been reported. Several potent LTB4-receptor antagonists have now been developed for clinical use and some are in clinical trial in COPD.
Cysteinyl-leukotrienes, as well as causing bronchoconstriction, also induce plasma extravasation and increase mucus secretion. However, the effects of cys-LT antagonists, such as montelukast ands zafirlukast, have not yet been studied in COPD. The major source of these mediators in asthmatic patients are likely to be mast cells and eosinophils, which are not likely to play an important role in the inflammatory process in COPD, so that there is less rationale for their use in COPD than in asthma.
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If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.