There are two types of agents that modify leukotriene response: inhibitors of LT synthesis that block lipo-oxygenase, and LT receptor antagonists. The drugs zafirlukast and montelukast belong to the latter group and are used more clinically. Zileuton is an inhibitor of leukotriene synthesis
In theory, these LTmodifying agents could have a major role in the treatment of asthma. Howevertheory and practice are not identical; many asthmatics appear not to have anybenefit from LT modifiers, which now are prescribed mainly for mild asthma orasthma with profound exercise-induced symptoms.
A leukotriene modifier has a combination of effects on both synthesis and leukotriene receptors.
Extra info: There are two different mechanisms for the leukotriene modifiers, they either inhibit the synthesis of the leukotrienes (zileuton) OR block the leukotriene receptor (zafirlukast). They can not do both.
Leukotriene modifiers are treatment of first choice in asthma.
Extra info: Although the mechanism of action of these drugs seems promising, the clinical effectiveness has not been overwhelming.
Leukotriene modifiers are NOT used for the treatment of COPD.
Extra info: Other drugs such as anticholinergics, β-agonists and steroids have a more profound effect on the relaxation of smooth muscle and are thus used in COPD.