Background: With the current increasing incidence of allergies worldwide, new treatments showing efficacy and long term safety are needed for chronic conditions such as persistent allergic rhinitis (PER). New generation H1-antihistamines have demonstrated anti-allergic properties, which could possibly enhance their effectiveness in long-term periods of treatment.
Objective: To investigate the efficacy of rupatadine, in controlling symptoms of PER over a 12-week period.
Methods: A randomized, double blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study was carried out in patients aged older than 12 years with PER. Main inclusion criteria were: instantaneous total symptom score (i6TSS) >or=45, nasal obstruction score <or=12, and overall assessment of PER >or=2 as moderate during the first visit. The primary efficacy endpoint was the 12-week average change from baseline of the patients' i6TSS.
Results: In all, 736 patients were selected. Of them, 543 (73.8%) were randomized in three different groups: placebo (n = 185), cetirizine (n = 175) and rupatadine (n = 183). Rupatadine (P = 0.008) but not cetirizine (P = 0.07) statistically reduced the baseline i6TSS vs placebo (47.8%, 44.7% and 38.8%, respectively), after 12 weeks. Onset of action was observed at the first 24 h for both treatments (rupatadine vs placebo, P = 0.013; cetirizine vs placebo, P = 0.015). Furthermore, instantaneous total nasal symptoms score (iTNSS) (including nasal blockage) mean change from baseline showed a significant reduction with rupatadine 10 mg in comparison with placebo, along all treatment duration of 12 weeks. Study treatments were well tolerated.
Conclusion: Rupatadine significantly relieves symptoms of PER, providing a rapid onset of action and maintains its effects over a long period of 12-weeks.