A variety of new asthma drugs are under research by many pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately progress tends to be very slow, as it takes as much as 10 years to get FDA approval start commercial production and bring the drug to the market. Costs too are prohibitive as it takes up to $350 million to bring a new molecule into the market.
One interesting development is older drugs used for treatment of other diseases like arthritis, cancer etc. are used for the treatment of asthma. They are being found to be more effective and costs are low. One such drug is Nedocromil sodium a medicine used for arthritis. Nedocromil, commercial name Tilade is more effective and potent than Cromolyn sodium.
The ketotifen groups of drugs are new range of medicines for asthma. Ketotifens do not have any broncho dilataing action but they will prevent the asthma symptoms from occurring. It is not a rescue medicine but a preventive one. They have antihistamine and anti inflammatory properties. They have to be taken for several weeks before the results are visible. Ketotifens are available as an ophthalmic solution and oral drug. The ophthalmic solutions are used in the treatment of allergic eye problems like conjunctivitis, itchy and red eyes. The oral form is used for the treatment of asthma.
Several new asthma drugs that are derived from the ketotifen family Zaditen are quite promising. The active ingredient of zatiden is ketotifen hydrogen fumarate. Side effects of these drugs are minimal like drowsiness and weight gain. Zatidine is normally prescribed for those asthma patients who have hives, sinus problems or hay fever.
Nowadays antibiotics are used widely in asthma treatment. While they may not help in all cases they do help when acute sinus infec¬tions and asthma coexist. There are Vaccines available for certain type of asthma caused by influenza virus. Annual flu shot can prevent this type of asthma. Asthma Patients should also get pneumonia vaccine particularly if they are 40 years and older.