Montelukast, a drug used for asthma or hay fever, may help to treat children suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), according to a study. The study, by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers, showed significant improvement in respiratory disturbance and adenoid size.
A considerable percentage of children who suffer from OSA and undergo tonsillectomies and polypectomies occasionally suffer from post-operative infection, bleeding and dehydration. Some children experience a reoccurrence of the condition.
According to Dr. Aviv Goldbart, a researcher in BGU's Faculty of Health Sciences, "Our goal is to find non-invasive treatments for OSA. We are seeking a nonsurgical treatment that will be used instead of tonsillectomies and polypectomies in children, and as a replacement for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines for adults."
The study was tested in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled fashion in which 23 children were given placebos, and 23 children were given montelukast. After a 12-week treatment with daily oral doses, children experienced reduced severity of OSA. These same 23 children also showed significant improvement in respiratory disturbance, adenoid size and children's symptoms. The obstructive apnea index was decreased by over 50 percent in 65 percent of treated children.