Survey Shows Discomfort With Existing Nasal Sprays Causes Allergic Rhinitis Patients to Discontinue Treatment

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allergySAN DIEGO, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- A survey of more than 1,500 allergic rhinitis sufferers who have used a prescription nasal spray to treat their symptoms revealed that device and formulation-related attributes were the major causes of discontinuing their treatment. The survey data (poster #896) were presented today at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

"These results suggest compliance among nasal spray users could improve if new technology overcomes the key barriers to continued use identified by these patients," said Eli Meltzer, M.D., co-director of the Allergy & Asthma Medical Group and Research Center in San Diego, Calif., who led the survey. "This is important because nasal sprays, specifically intranasal corticosteroids, are considered by medical experts as first-line therapy when congestion is a major component of the patient's nasal allergy symptoms." 

Survey respondents indicated that medication running down their throats or out of their noses was the primary reason for stopping treatment (62 percent). Other reasons for stopping treatment cited by nasal spray users included the bitter taste left by nasal sprays (44 percent), failure to provide 24-hour relief (35 percent), uncertainty about the amount of medication received in each spray (32 percent) and lack of clarity regarding when to refill their prescriptions (31 percent).

When asked which features of a nasal spray were most important to them, survey respondents selected ease-of-use as the most important (47 percent). Other attributes survey responders rated as important when considering nasal spray features included minimal side effects (46 percent) and medication that does not run down the throat or out of the nose (43 percent) or cause throat or nose irritation (43 percent). 

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Allergic rhinitis (AR), known as nasal allergies, is an inflammatory reaction of the nasal passages to allergens, such as dust mites, animal dander, mold spores, and pollens. One of the most prevalent and chronic diseases in the U.S., nasal allergies affect up to 40 million people annually, including 10 to 30 percent of adults and up to 40 percent of children. Within minutes of exposure to an allergen, immune response cells release inflammatory mediators -- such as histamines and leukotrienes -- that lead to inflammation and produce symptoms including nasal congestion, sneezing and runny or itchy nose. Seasonal allergic rhinitis, triggered by pollens, occurs during certain seasons and lasts a few weeks to a few months. Perennial allergic rhinitis, triggered by dust mites, animal dander, and mold, occurs year-round.

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Source: GlaxoSmithKline