Comparison of the effects of fluticasone propionate, aqueous nasal spray and levocabastine on inflammatory cells in nasal lavage and clinical activity during the pollen season in seasonal rhinitics.Clin Exp Allergy 1999; 29(10):1367-77CE
Treatment options for allergic rhinitis include antihistamines, decongestants, anticholinergics, cromolyn sodium and corticosteroids. As the nose is a small organ, comprising less than 1% of total body mass and surface area, it seems logical to confine treatment of rhinitis to the diseased organ.
To evaluate the effects of therapy with intranasal fluticasone propionate (FP), both on subjective symptoms and pathophysiological mechanisms, in rhinitis patients during pollen season when the patients were symptomatic.
We used a double-blind, placebo (PLA)-controlled, randomized, double dummy, parallel group study of the effect of 6 weeks treatment. The double-blind comparison was made between the following three treatments: FP aqueous nasal spray, 200 microg taken once daily, levocabastine (LEV) nasal spray, 200 microg taken twice daily and PLA nasal spray. Clinical evaluation and the levels of cells and mediators in nasal washing were performed before and after treatments. Twenty-four patients (11 men and 13 women, aged 17-50 years, mean age 30.1 +/- 8.5) with strictly seasonal allergic rhinitis to Parietaria entered the study. Clinical evaluation and the levels of inflammatory cells (eosinophils and activated eosinophils, i.e. EG2+) and their mediators (tryptase, eosinophil cationic protein, eosinophil protein X and neutrophil myeloperoxidase) in nasal-lavage were performed before and after treatments.
Treatment with FP significantly increased, with respect to placebo, the percentage of days without sneezing (P < 0. 001), nasal blockage (P < 0.001), rhinorrhea (P < 0.001), nasal itching (P < 0.001). Furthermore, treatment with FP showed additional benefits with respect to LEV. The percentage of days without nasal blockage was significantly higher in the FP group that in the placebo group (P = 0.018). The same applied to rhinorrhea (P = 0.009). The percentages of days without sneezing and itching were instead not significantly different between the two groups. As expected, no significant differences were observed in baseline medians of the rhinitis symptom scores as well as in mean values of all mediators and eosinophils in nasal lavages of the various groups under study. After treatment the mean of subjective symptoms as well as all values in nasal lavage level fell significantly only in the FP group, whereas no significant changes were observed either in LEV or PLA groups. Accordingly, significant differences were observed at the end of the treatments between the values of fluticasone group vs LEV and PLA group values. Significant correlations between these values and symptom scores were found, according with literature data suggesting a pathogenetic role for these mediators and eosinophils in rhinitis.
FP (200 microg once daily) affords a significant degree of improvement in rhinitis control during pollen season, as measured by subjective and objective parameters, compared with LEV (200 microg twice daily) and PLA. The therapeutic benefits of intranasal FP are reflected in, and may be caused by, the decrease in nasal inflammatory cells.