Efficacy of azelastine nasal spray in the treatment of vasomotor (perennial nonallergic) rhinitis.Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2001; 86(1):28-35AA
Azelastine hydrochloride is an antihistamine with anti-inflammatory properties that is available in the United States in a nasal spray formulation for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. Vasomotor (perennial nonallergic) rhinitis (VMR) is a noninfectious, chronic rhinitis usually not associated with inflammatory cell infiltration.
Two multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group clinical trials were conducted to determine whether patients with symptoms of VMR (rhinorrhea, sneezing, postnasal drip, and nasal congestion) could be effectively treated with azelastine nasal spray.
All of the patients who participated in the trials had a diagnosis of VMR, symptoms for at least 1 year, negative skin tests for a mixed panel of seasonal and perennial allergens, and a nasal cytology examination negative for eosinophils. After a 1-week, single-blind, placebo lead-in period, patients who met the symptom severity qualification criteria were randomized to receive either azelastine nasal spray (two sprays per nostril twice daily, 1.1 mg/day) or placebo nasal spray for 21 days. Patients recorded the severity of their VMR symptoms on diary cards each morning and evening of the trial using a four-point symptom rating scale (0 = none to 3 = severe). The primary efficacy variable was the overall reduction from baseline in the total vasomotor rhinitis symptom score (TVRSS) over the 21-day, double-blind treatment period.
In both studies, azelastine nasal spray significantly (study 1, P = .002; study 2, P = .005) reduced the TVRSS from baseline when compared with placebo. Significant improvement was observed within the first week and improvement in all symptoms favored treatment with azelastine nasal spray. No serious or unexpected adverse events were reported in either study. Bitter taste (19% vs 2%) was the only adverse experience that occurred with a statistically significantly greater incidence in the azelastine group than in the placebo group.
This is the first demonstration of the efficacy of an antihistamine in the therapy of VMR in two double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials.