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Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003 Oct;35(8):306-13.

Rhinitis in pregnancy.

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Clinica di Malattie Apparato Respiratorio, Servizio di Allergologia, Universita' di Torino, Azienda San Luigi, Orbassano.


About 30% of women suffer from nasal symptoms during pregnancy. The hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy favour per se mucosal oedema and relaxation of smooth muscles, thus contributing to nasal congestion. The most common forms of rhinitis are allergic, drug-induced, infectious and vasomotor rhinitis. In addition to the detrimental effects that rhinitis can have on quality of life, it is important to correctly treat rhinitis itself since it can influence concomitant asthma, as underlined in ARIA document. In pregnancy, the safety profile of drugs is the primary item to be considered. The American FDA pointed out that foetal damage could not be totally excluded with the majority of antirhinitis drugs. It is recommended to use "older drugs" because more data about their safety are available. Cromones are the safest drugs but, although they need multiple daily administrations. Antihistamines should be considered as second choice drugs, and their use is not recommended during the first three months of pregnancy. Topical steroids are useful in moderate-severe rhinitis, being beclometasone the most documented molecule. Topical vasoconstrictors should not be used continuously because they can induce pharmacological rhinitis. It is not recommended to start specific immunotherapy in pregnancy but it can be continued in patients who benefit from its use. Infective rhinitis should be treated with beta-lactams, cephalosporins or macrolides. Finally it is important to evaluate the cost/usefulness ratio before any drug prescription.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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