Chronobiology and chronotherapy of allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2007 Aug 31;59(9-10):852-82. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2007.08.016. Epub 2007 Aug 17.


Study of the chronobiology of allergic rhinitis (AR) and bronchial asthma (BA) and the chronopharmacology and chronotherapy of the medications used in their treatment began five decades ago. AR is an inflammatory disease of the upper airway tissue with hypersensitivity to specific environmental antigens, resulting in further local inflammation, vasomotor changes, and mucus hypersecretion. Symptoms include sneezing, nasal congestion, and runny and itchy nose. Approximately 25% of children and 40% of adults in USA are affected by AR during one or more seasons of the year. The manifestation and severity of AR symptoms exhibit prominent 24-h variation; in most persons they are worse overnight or early in the morning and often comprise nighttime sleep, resulting in poor daytime quality of life, compromised school and work performance, and irritability and moodiness. BA is also an inflammatory medical condition of the lower airways characterized by hypersensitivity to specific environmental antigens, resulting in greater local inflammation as well as bronchoconstriction, vasomotor change, and mucus hypersecretion. In USA an estimated 6.5 million children and 15.7 million adults have BA. The onset and worsening of BA are signaled by chest wheeze and/or croupy cough and difficult and labored breathing. Like AR, BA is primarily a nighttime medical condition. AR is treated with H1-antagonist, decongestant, and anti-inflammatory (glucocorticoid and leukotriene receptor antagonist and modifier) medications. Only H1-antagonist AR medications have been studied for their chronopharmacology and potential chronotherapy. BA is treated with some of the same medications and also theophylline and beta2-agonists. The chronopharmacology and chronotherapy of many classes of BA medications have been explored. This article reviews the rather extensive knowledge of the chronobiology of AR and BA and the chronopharmacology and chronotherapy of the various medications used in their treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Animals
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Chronobiology Phenomena / physiology*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / drug therapy*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / physiopathology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / drug therapy*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / physiopathology
  • Sleep / physiology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists