Allergic Rhinitis: January 2007 Archives

hay feverAllergy shots are effective and safe for reducing symptoms of hay fever, according to a new review. The injection series caused no deaths and few serious adverse reactions in 51 controlled studies.

Dr. Moises Calderon, of Royal Brompton Hospital in London, and colleagues evaluated the results from randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis due to tree, grass or weed pollens. The studies involved 2,871 participants.

The review appears in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

dynavaxBERKELEY, Calif., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Dynavax Technologies Corporation (Nasdaq: DVAX ) announced today that the analysis of interim one-year data from its two-year DARTT ragweed allergy trial indicated that no meaningful ragweed-specific allergic disease was observed in the study population, making it impossible to measure the therapeutic effect of TOLAMBA treatment. In all three arms of the study, including the placebo arm, minimal change from baseline was observed in the main efficacy measure of the study, the total nasal symptom score (TNSS). The company indicated that in the placebo and treated groups, the change from baseline TNSS was very low; not clinically significant; and substantially lower than what has been observed in prior trials.

"In effect, we saw three patient groups with no measurable disease during the ragweed season. This result was unexpected, though these challenges are well known to occur in allergy drug development. Due to the fact that no clinically significant disease was seen in the study population, it was impossible to measure the effect of our intervention," noted Dino Dina, MD, president and chief executive officer. Dina continued, "We are working closely with our consultants and investigators to review the data in detail and determine the future of the program."

patient with doctorHow well do we manage our patients who have been diagnosed with allergic rhinitis? Do patients and healthcare providers have a similar outlook? This presentation was given at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Meeting, and largely is drawn from data obtained from "Allergies in America: A Landmark Survey of Nasal Allergy Sufferers," the largest and most comprehensive national survey of patients with allergic rhinitis, and the healthcare providers who treat them, which was released in 2006.[1]

The purpose of this survey was to describe the symptoms, burden of disease, and treatment of allergic rhinitis. As a brief summary, a national sample of 31,470 American households were screened by telephone interview to obtain a national probability sample of 2500 adults, aged 18 and over, who had been diagnosed by a physician with allergic rhinitis, nasal allergies, or "hay fever" and who had nasal allergy symptoms, or had taken prescription medication for allergies within the past 12 months

Schering-Plough to sell Danish anti-allergy drug

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schering ploughCOPENHAGEN (Reuters) - U.S. drug maker Schering-Plough Corp. <SGP.N> will develop and sell Denmark's ALK-Abello anti-allergy drug Grazax in North America, the Danish company said on Wednesday.

Shares in the Danish company rose 7.1 percent to 1,550 crowns on the news.

The drug treats grass pollen, house dust mite and ragweed allergies. The two companies will develop and sell it in the United States, Canada and Mexico, with Schering-Plough acquiring exclusive license rights.

CAMBy Hana R. Solomon, MD

Worldwide, only 10% to 30% of healthcare is provided by conventional, Western, biomedical practitioners. The remainder is delivered either through folk beliefs or alternative traditions.[1] Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has become more popular in the United States over the past few decades. With this increasing popularity of CAM, it is important that practitioners become familiar with this area of medical practice for all diagnoses.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), CAM is defined as "a group of diverse medical and healthcare systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine.[2]" The list of modalities included in this definition continually changes as practices are integrated into Western conventional medicine. They also identify 5 concepts, or domains, of CAM: