This article is part of Pulmonology Advisor‘s coverage of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology annual meeting, taking place in San Francisco, California. Our staff will report on medical research related to asthma, allergy, and other respiratory conditions, conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from AAAAI 2019.

SAN FRANCISCO — Children with asthma who received montelukast had no increased risk for neuropsychiatric disease compared with children who did not receive the treatment, according to the results of a study presented at the 2019 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, held February 22-25.

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Medical records of children <18 years of age who were newly diagnosed with asthma were examined and stratified based on whether or not they were treated with the leukotriene receptor antagonist montelukast. The risk for neuropsychiatric disease was compared between groups for a maximum follow-up of 9 years.

Of the participants in the nationwide population-based database, 14,668 children were in the montelukast cohort and 8489 children were in the non-montelukast cohort. The incidence of overall neuropsychiatric disorder in the montelukast cohort was not significantly higher than in the non-montelukast cohort (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.81-1.10). However, in both cohorts, the risk for neuropsychiatric disease increased in children with poorly controlled asthma (montelukast cohort: adjusted hazard ratio, 30.92; 95% CI, 12.72-74.76 and non-montelukast cohort: adjusted hazard ratio, 21.09; 95% CI, 6.77-65.70).

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“Our population-based cohort study showed that the risk [for] neuropsychiatric disease in asthmatic children is not elevated by montelukast usage whereas it is increased in those without adequate control,” the researchers wrote.


Liu MJ, Lei WT. Montelukast does not increase the risk of neuropsychiatric disease in children with asthma: a nationwide population-based cohort study. Presented at the 2019 American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology Annual Meeting; February 22-25, 2019; San Francisco, CA. Abstract 668.

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