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Pharmacotherapy. 2002 Nov;22(11):1458-67.

Intranasal corticosteroids for allergic rhinitis.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, Midwestern University, Glendale, Illinois, USA.


Intranasal corticosteroids are accepted as safe and effective first-line therapy for allergic rhinitis. Several intranasal corticosteroids are available: beclomethasone dipropionate, budesonide, flunisolide, fluticasone propionate, mometasone furoate, and triamcinolone acetonide. All are efficacious in treating seasonal allergic rhinitis and as prophylaxis for perennial allergic rhinitis. In general, they relieve nasal congestion and itching, rhinorrhea, and sneezing that occur in the early and late phases of allergic response, with studies showing almost complete prevention of late-phase symptoms. The rationale for topical intranasal corticosteroids in the treatment of allergic rhinitis is that adequate drug concentrations can be achieved at receptor sites in the nasal mucosa. This leads to symptom control and reduces the risk of systemic adverse effects. Adverse reactions usually are limited to the nasal mucosa, such as dryness, burning and stinging, and sneezing, together with headache and epistaxis in 5-10% of patients regardless of formulation or compound. Differences among agents are limited to potency, patient preference, dosing regimens, and delivery, device and vehicle.

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