Management of allergic and non-allergic rhinitis: a primary care summary of the BSACI guideline

Prim Care Respir J. 2010 Sep;19(3):217-22. doi: 10.4104/pcrj.2010.00044.


Rhinitis is a common problem in primary care which is often managed sub-optimally. It causes considerable morbidity and has been shown to have a detrimental impact on people's ability to concentrate at school and at work. Rhinitis and asthma often present together, and symptomatic rhinitis can be associated with poor asthma control and increased risk of exacerbations. There is therefore a clear need to recognise and treat rhinitis according to guideline recommendations. This article is a primary care summary of the British Society for Allergy & Clinical Immunology (BSACI) Standards of Care Committee guideline on the management of rhinitis, written by a multi-disciplinary group of clinicians. It takes into account the time restrictions on assessment and the tests and equipment available in primary care, as well as the need for practical, clear and intuitive strategies for investigation and management. It recommends a stepwise approach to treatment, and highlights the relevance of less frequently prescribed treatments, including nasal douching leukotriene receptor antagonists and anticholinergics. Red flag symptoms are identified, together with indicators for referral. As with many other long term conditions, good communication between primary and secondary care in terms of timely and appropriate referral is a key factor for success.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Histamine Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy
  • Primary Health Care
  • Rhinitis / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis / microbiology
  • Rhinitis / therapy
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / therapy*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / therapy*


  • Histamine Antagonists