Efficacy of a steroid nasal spray compared with an antihistamine nasal spray in the treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis.

J. M. Berlin, S. J. Golden, S. Teets, E. B. Lehman, T. Lucas, Timothy Craig

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Allergic rhinitis is a common disease with a lifetime prevalence of 20% among the United States population. The cost of medication alone to manage allergic rhinitis in the United States was estimated to be $3.1 billion. The two most commonly prescribed classes of medications are antihistamines and topical nasal steroids. The data on comparing the efficacy of a commonly used antihistamine (azelastine hydrochloride) with that of topical steroids, however, are conflicting. Therefore, the reported study was undertaken to determine the efficacy of azelastine with that of a topical nasal steroid (flunisolide) in treating patients for the symptoms of perennial allergic rhinitis. Forty-four subjects were enrolled in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study using Balaam's design. In one group, patients were treated with topical nasal corticosteroids or placebo. In the other group, patients were treated with the antihistamine nasal spray or placebo. Subjective data were collected by the use of questionnaires and a daily diary, which focused on nasal symptoms, sleep, and daytime sleepiness. The results demonstrated that the topical nasal corticosteroid performed superiorly to the antihistamine nasal spray in improving sleep, daytime sleepiness, sneezing, ocular and nasal pruritus, and nasal congestion. Thus, the topical nasal corticosteroid was found to be more effective than antihistamine nasal spray in reducing symptoms of allergic rhinitis. This study provides further support for the use of topical nasal corticosteroids as first-line treatment for perennial allergic rhinitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S8-13
JournalThe Journal of the American Osteopathic Association
Issue number7 Suppl
StatePublished - Jul 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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