Acetylsalicylic-acid (ASA) intolerance is well recognized as a possible cause for exacerbating asthma. It has been postulated that if this could be overcome, long-term aspirin administration could improve asthma symptoms and enable reduction of the use of other anti-asthmatic drugs.
We succeeded in inducing an ASA tolerance in nine corticosteroid-dependent asthmatics, and this tolerance lasted at least 1 month and at most 1 year. Progressive deterioration in lung function was seen, however, in all patients taking ASA for more than 1 month, unless the corticosteroid intake was increased. These results suggest that ASA long-term treatment is of no help to severe corticosteroid-dependent, ASA-sensitive asthmatics. This conclusion differs from other reports on ASA intolerance in asthma.