Astelin wins by a nose over Zyrtec
Astelin nasal spray controls symptoms of seasonal nasal allergies better than oral Zyrtec does, a new study shows.
Astelin, (otherwise known as azelastine) and Zyrtec (cetirizine) are both selective histamine-receptor blockers intended for treating seasonal Allergic rhinitis, the researchers explain, but the drugs have not been compared directly at commonly used doses.
Dr. Jonathan Corren from the Allergy Research Foundation, Inc., Los Angeles, and colleagues studied some 300 patients with seasonal Allergic rhinitis during the fall allergy season.
The investigators randomly assigned the participants to 2 sprays of azelastine per nostril twice daily plus inactive “placebo” tablets, or placebo spray plus 10-milligram cetirizine tablets once daily, for a two-week period.
Total nasal symptom scores improved significantly with both treatments, the team reports in the medical journal Clinical Therapeutics, with an average improvement of 29.3 percent among the azelastine patients and 23.0 percent in the cetirizine group. The difference was mainly in improvements in runny nose symptoms.
Azelastine treatment was associated with a significantly greater overall improvement in the Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire score than was cetirizine treatment, the researchers note. However, none of the individual components of the score differed between treatments.
The safety profiles were similar for the two treatments, the report indicates.
SOURCE: Clinical Therapeutics, online April 28, 200527.
Revision date: July 6, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD