—To study the effect of 3 months of treatment with zileuton, an inhibitor of the enzymatic pathway (5-lipoxygenase) leading to leukotriene formation, on disease control in patients with mild to moderate asthma.
—Randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study in 401 patients. A 10-day placebo lead-in was followed by a double-blind treatment period of 13 weeks.
—Asthma study clinics in university hospitals and private practices.
Patients or Other Participants.
—Patients with mild to moderate asthma (forced expiratory volume in the first second [FEV1], 40% to 80% of predicted) whose only treatment was inhaled β-agonists.
—Treatment with 600 mg or 400 mg of zileuton or placebo (each taken four times daily).
Main Outcome Measures.
—Frequency of asthma exacerbation requiring treatment with corticosteroids, use of inhaled β-agonists, pulmonary function tests, asthma symptom assessment, and quality-of-life evaluation. Safety was evaluated by monitoring adverse events.
—Only eight (6.1%) of 132 patients receiving 600 mg of zileuton four times a day required corticosteroid treatment for asthma vs 21 (15.6%) of 135 patients receiving placebo (P=.02), giving a relative risk of 2.6. At the time of expected peak drug concentration, the average FEV1 improved 15.7% in the 600-mg zileuton group vs 7.7% in the placebo group (P=.006). Quality-of-life assessments significantly improved in the 600-mg zileuton group and not in the placebo group (P=.007 for the overall score). Elevations in liver function tests (more than three times normal), all of which reversed with drug withdrawal, occurred in five patients (P=.03 vs placebo), three patients (P=.12 vs placebo), and no patients treated with 600 mg of zileuton, 400 mg of zileuton, or placebo, respectively.
—Three months of 5-lipoxygenase inhibition produced a significant improvement in asthma control. These data indicate that 5-lipoxygenase products of arachidonic acid metabolism are mediators of inflammation with an important role in the biology of asthma.(JAMA. 1996;275:931-936)
Israel E, Cohn J, Dubé L, Drazen JM, Ratner P, Pleskow W, DeGraff A, Chervinsky P, Wasserman S, Nelson H, Yocum M, Dockborn RJ, Siegel SC, Aldrich T, Karpel J, Busse W, Lazarus S, Menendez R, Segal AT, Thompson A, Weinstein A, Barbee R, Leff A, Strek M, Lopez M, Charous BL, Hutt D, Murray JJ, Tinkelman D, Ilowite J, Kaiser HB, Bowling BT, Grossman J, Edwards T, Fish J, VanBavel JH, Fox R, Wanderer AA, Winder JA, Zeitz HJ, Lee T, Scharer L, Hanrahan JP, Lancaster J, Manski R, Bialek-Smith S, Swanson LJ. Effect of Treatment With Zileuton, a 5-Lipoxygenase Inhibitor, in Patients With AsthmaA Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 1996;275(12):931-936. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530360041036