Patterns of asthma-related health care resource use in children treated with montelukast or fluticasone

Felicia C. Allen-Ramey, Leona E. Markson*, Aylin A. Riedel, Shiva Sajjan, Kevin B Weiss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the impact of controller monotherapy with montelukast or fluticasone on asthma-related health care resource use among children aged 2-14 years old. Design and methods: A retrospective claims-based analysis of asthmatic children, 2-14 years old, receiving a prescription (index) for montelukast or fluticasone between January 1, 1999 and June 30,2000 was conducted. Children were matched by age and propensity score to obtain comparable treatment groups. The propensity score was derived using patient demographics, pre-existing respiratory conditions, and asthma-related pharmacy and health service utilization (i.e. ambulatory visits, emergency department visits and hospitalizations). Claims for asthma-related emergent care and medication use were examined for the 12-month periods before and after the index prescription. Treatment group comparisons of asthma-related resource use were conducted for the total pediatric population and separately for children 2-5 years and 6-14 years. Persistent controller medication use was assessed at 6 and 12 months post-index. Results: A total of 2034 children were matched (1017 in each treatment group). Post-index rates of asthma-related resource use were similar among children treated with montelukast or fluticasone. Among children 2-5 years old, fewer emergency department visits were observed with montelukast versus fluticasone (relative risk = 0.52, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.28-0.96); no significant difference was observed among children 6-14 years old. No significant differences between montelukast and fluticasone cohorts in hospitalizations or rescue medication fills were noted in either age group. Evidence of at least one medication refill was significantly greater with montelukast at both 6 and 12 months post-index. Conclusions: Similar levels of resource use were achieved by children 2-14 years initiating montelukast or fluticasone, as indicated by use of asthma-related emergent care and rescue/acute medications. Subgroup analyses suggest a differential effect of age on the relationship between treatment and asthma-related resource use, with children 2-5 years observed to have less resource use while on montelukast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1453-1461
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Medical Research and Opinion
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006


  • Asthma
  • Asthma controller
  • Comparative study
  • Drug therapy
  • Fluticasone
  • Montelukast
  • Propensity score
  • Therapeutic use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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