In fall 2004, the first Azelastine Cetirizine Trial demonstrated statistically significant improvements in the total nasal symptom score (TNSS) and Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (RQLQ) scores with the use of azelastine nasal spray vs oral cetirizine in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR).
To compare the effects of azelastine nasal spray vs cetirizine on the TNSS and RQLQ scores in patients with SAR.
This 2-week, double-blind, multicenter trial randomized 360 patients with moderate-to-severe SAR to azelastine, 2 sprays per nostril twice daily, or cetirizine, 10-mg tablets once daily. The primary efficacy variable was the 12-hour reflective TNSS (rhinorrhea, sneezing, itchy nose, and nasal congestion). Secondary efficacy variables were individual symptom scores and the RQLQ score.
Azelastine nasal spray and cetirizine significantly improved the TNSS and individual symptoms compared with baseline (P < .001). The TNSS improved by a mean of 4.6 (23.9%) with azelastine nasal spray compared with 3.9 (19.6%) with cetirizine. Significant differences favoring azelastine nasal spray were seen for the individual symptoms of sneezing and nasal congestion. Improvements in the RQLQ overall (P = .002) and individual domain (P < or = .02) scores were greater with azelastine nasal spray. Both treatments were well tolerated.
Azelastine nasal spray and cetirizine effectively treated nasal symptoms in patients with SAR. Improvements in the TNSS and individual symptoms favored azelastine over cetirizine, with significant differences for nasal congestion and sneezing. Azelastine nasal spray significantly improved the RQLQ overall and domain scores compared with cetirizine.