Eight randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were included in the review (2,032 children). Follow-up was high (mean rate of 90.4%). The Jadad quality scores of the trials were unclear.
There were no statistically significant differences in improvement in clinical scores (two RCTs, 142 children), use of rescue medication (beta-2 agonists, three RCTs, 204 children) and frequency and severity of symptoms (one RCT, 62 children) between inhaled corticosteroids (triamcinolone, formoterol, budesonide), montelukast or placebo groups.
Fluticasone propionate, compared with montelukast or placebo, was associated with significantly greater improvements in rescue-free days (two RCTs, 1,336 children), asthma control days (two RCTs, 429 children), and daily symptom scores (one RCT, 63 children).