Asthma drug found useful in treating sleep apnea in children

By on August 8, 2012

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder commonly marked by the pauses in the breathing, or low breathing during the sleep. Sleep apnea is often caused by the obstruction in the air passage to the lungs. In United States alone, thousands of children are suffering from sleep apnea.

Doctors often suggest a surgery to treat sleep apnea in children, while many of the parents are quite reluctant towards it.

Now according to a new study, a common drug that’s used to treat asthma can help children with obstructive sleep apnea avoid a surgery. The study says a drug called Montelukast (Singulair) that’s used to treat the allergy and asthmatic conditions can lower the noon severe sleep apnea symptoms in children.

The 12 week study which was conducted on 46 children, made them take asthma drug, while some of them were on a placebo treatment. The kids who took asthma drug were found to have lessened their sleep apnea symptoms, and also the intensity of the disease compared to the kids who were on a placebo treatment.

No side effects were reported among the kids who have taken the asthma drug.

The study authors say it’s a small study, and need to continue the research to fully estimate the value of Montelukast in treating sleep apnea in children.

Michael Rothschild, director of pediatric otolaryngology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City said, “It’s too early to recommend Montelukast for the treatment of sleep apnea in kids. But, it does make sense. The drug reduces inflammation in the nose and adenoids.”