NEW YORK, July 24 (Praxis Press) Th2 cytokines are strongly implicated in the immunopathology of asthma. Tamaoki and colleagues evaluated the steroid-sparing effect of suplatast tosilate, a selective Th2 cytokine inhibitor, relative to placebo in patients with steroid-dependent asthma. When steroid doses were halved, patients in the suplatast tosilate group had less deterioration of pulmonary function, asthma symptoms, and reliance on beta2-agonists for relief. These benefits were achieved with few side effects. Suplatast tosilate may allow a reduction of steroid dose in patients with steroid-dependent asthma.

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