Pranlukast: A review of its use in the management of asthma

Susan J. Keam*, Katherine A. Lyseng-Williamson, Karen L. Goa, P. E. Korenblat, R. F. Lockey, Y. Obase, G. E. Rovati, A. P. Sampson, L. J. Smith, G. Tamura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Pranlukast (Onon®, Azlaire®), is an orally administered, selective, competitive antagonist of the cysteinyl leukotrienes (LT) C4, LTD4 and LTE4. It is indicated for the prophylactic treatment of chronic bronchial asthma in paediatric and adult patients. The efficacy of pranlukast 225mg twice daily in adults with mild to moderate asthma was demonstrated in double-blind, placebo- or azelastine-controlled studies of 4 or 8 weeks' duration. The drug at this dosage was superior to both comparators in improving mean attack scores and morning and/or evening peak expiratory flow rates, and decreasing the use of rescue bronchodilators (p < 0.05). In limited clinical studies, pranlukast 225mg twice daily appeared to be as effective as montelukast 10mg once daily and zafirlukast 40mg twice daily in adults with mild to moderate asthma. Tachyphylaxis was absent when the drug was administered for up to 4 years. In patients requiring high-dose inhaled corticosteroid therapy, pranlukast 225mg twice daily plus a halved dosage of inhaled corticosteroid was as effective as the original dosage of inhaled corticosteroid. Pranlukast was also effective in patients with mild to severe asthma in a clinical practice setting. In a double-blind trial, greater improvements in most outcome measures were observed with pranlukast than with oxatomide in children and adolescents with asthma. In clinical trials, pranlukast was well tolerated in adult and paediatric patients with asthma, with an adverse event profile similar to that of placebo. Gastrointestinal events and hepatic function abnormalities were the most commonly reported adverse events. No clinically significant differences in adverse event profiles between pranlukast, zafirlukast or montelukast were shown in limited comparisons. Although Churg-Strauss syndrome has been noted in pranlukast recipients, a direct causal relationship is unlikely. Conclusions: Pranlukast is a well tolerated and effective preventative treatment in adult and paediatric patients with persistent asthma of all severities. In some patients, pranlukast may be beneficial when added to low-dose inhaled corticosteroids; it may also be a viable alternative to increasing inhaled corticosteroid dosages. The efficacy of pranlukast relative to placebo has been confirmed; its efficacy relative to other therapy awaits further investigation. Nonetheless, pranlukast is a useful therapeutic option (with as-required short-acting β2-agonists), either as preventative monotherapy for the treatment of mild persistent asthma or in conjunction with inhaled corticosteroids in the management of moderate or severe persistent asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)991-1019
Number of pages29
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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