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Asthma Improved by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

DANIEL KORDANSKY, M.D.; N. FRANKLIN ADKINSON Jr., M.D.; PHILIP S. NORMAN, M.D.; and RICHARD R. ROSENTHAL, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

This paper is Publication #290 from the O'Neill Research Laboratories of The Good Samaritan Hospital.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to N. Franklin Adkinson, Jr., M.D.; O'Neill Research Laboratory, The Good Samaritan Hospital, 5601 Loch Raven Blvd.; Baltimore, MD 21239.


Baltimore, Maryland


Ann Intern Med. 1978;88(4):508-511. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-88-4-508
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A patient who claimed benefit from aspirin for her reversible bronchospasm was challenged orally in a placebo-controlled study with aspirin and other aspirin-like drugs. Specific airways conductance and spirometry were monitored for up to 150 minutes after oral challenge. Aspirin, mefenamic acid, and ibuprofen administration resulted in marked (45% to 80%) improvement in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) compared to lactose placebo. Indomethacin, sodium salicylate, and tartrazine resulted in modest (15% to 25%) FEV1 improvement, while phenylbutazone produced a 25% decrease. These results are discussed here in terms of the ability of these drugs to inhibit the prostaglandin synthetase enzyme system. This case suggests that aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be beneficial rather than harmful in some asthmatic patients.

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