Inhalers have long been used in treating asthma. However, this treatment is soon to receive an upgrade as a new pill, Fevipiprant, holds promise of giving better results to asthmatic patients.
With over 500,000 people in UK suffering from varying degrees of asthma, this new drug aims to halve the risk of asthmatic attacks as well as lessen the hospital admittance rate for asthmatic patients. The clinical trial for Fevipiprant, conducted at the University of Leicester and published in The Lancet, revealed that the drug was able to repair the lining on the airway tract of patients and also improved lung functioning. Reduction in inflammation of air passageways as well as lessening asthmatic symptoms were also observed. As the rate of asthmatic patients is steadily increasing in the UK due to air pollution, as claimed by NHS, scientists believe this drug could be a revolutionary step in handling asthma.
Since another mode of treating asthma is taking steroids, the use of which Fevipiprant would help end. Steroids, while effective, have negative side effects such as weight gain and diabetes to name a few. In response to the lowered use of steroids, Chris Brightling, a clinical professor in Leicester University said: “I’m excited by how effective it’s likely to be and also about its potential to reduce the need for patients to take oral steroids. Those people would be able to stop taking those drugs, which would make a huge difference to them.”
The pill, supposed to be taken twice a day, is still undergoing phase 3 of its trial where the effectiveness of the drug is being determined over a larger sample size. Once the drug is approved and marketed in different pharmacies, it is expected to relieve the £1 billion burden that has been on the NHS in handling this disease. It will also lessen the death count caused by asthma which as of 2015 has been 1,418.