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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1995 Feb;95(2):515-23.

Effect of intranasal azelastine and beclomethasone dipropionate on nasal symptoms, nasal cytology, and bronchial responsiveness to methacholine in allergic rhinitis in response to grass pollens.

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Servizio di Fisiopatologia Respiratoria G. Campari, Ospedale Città di Sesto San Giovanni, Italy.



We compared the effect of nasal azelastine (0.56 mg/day), nasal beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP, 200 micrograms/day) and matched placebo on seasonal symptoms, nasal cytology, and the increase in bronchial responsiveness occurring during pollen season in a group of subjects with history of allergic rhinitis to grass pollens only.


The study was completed by nine subjects in the azelastine group, 13 subjects in the BDP group, and 13 subjects in the placebo group. Treatments were randomly administered for 6 weeks. Each subject recorded daily nasal, eye and chest symptoms and additional treatment requirement for the entire pollen season. Each subject performed nasal lavage 4 weeks into the pollen season. Bronchial responsiveness to methacholine was measured before and 4 weeks into the pollen season. Response was expressed as provocative dose causing a 20% fall in forced expiratory volume in 1 second in micromoles.


Azelastine-treated subjects had significantly fewer nasal symptoms during week 4 (p < 0.05), and BDP-treated subjects had fewer nasal symptoms during week 4 (p < 0.05) and week 5 (p < 0.05) compared with subjects given placebo. Both treatments significantly reduced the need for additional medications. BDP, but not azelastine, treatment significantly reduced the percent of eosinophils recovered in nasal lavage (p < 0.05). Neither azelastine nor BDP protected against the increase in bronchial responsiveness to methacholine occurring during the pollen season.


We demonstrated that both azelastine and BDP are effective treatments for nasal symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis after 4 weeks of therapy. However, we were not able to demonstrate an antiinflammatory activity of nasally administered azelastine. Nasal therapy with azelastine and BDP did not block the increase in bronchial responsiveness to methacholine caused by seasonal allergen exposure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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