BACKGROUND: Viral infection of the respiratory tract in patients with asthma is one of the most frequent causes of exacerbation of asthmatic symptoms. Disodium cromoglycate (DSCG) is a commonly used anti-asthmatic medicine with many beneficial biochemical and physiological effects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of DSCG against colds when used in clinical practice. METHODS: A questionnaire survey to determine the efficacy of DSCG was undertaken in 220 adult patients with asthma (81 male, 139 female; mean age: 54.1 +/- 13.7 years and 60.1 +/- 12.7 years, respectively) from April to September 2004 at the Miyatake Asthma Clinic. RESULTS: The duration of DSCG inhalation therapy was not less than 5 years in more than half of the patients. The mean daily DSCG dose at the time of the questionnaire survey was 40mg/day in over 50% of all patients. After DSCG was added to inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) combination therapy, 56.4% of the patients rated their condition as "improved", and 66.4% of the patients felt that the frequency of colds they had caught had decreased while DSCG was added to ICS. CONCLUSIONS: DSCG inhalation therapy is a useful additional treatment following ICS to alleviate asthma symptoms, and to prevent colds in adult patients with asthma.
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