A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial to Test the Efficacy of Intranasal Chlorpheniramine Maleate With Xylitol for the Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis

Cureus. 2021 Mar 31;13(3):e14206. doi: 10.7759/cureus.14206.


The prevalence of allergic rhinitis (AR), including symptoms of sneezing, nasal itching, airflow obstruction, and nasal discharge caused by histamine and immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated reactions, is ~30% in the U.S. Recent studies seem to suggest that the allergic inflammatory processes in AR may be induced by the interaction between an allergen (trigger) and the nasal microbiome (substrate). In this study, we have identified two agents with antihistaminic and microbiome-modulating characteristics that can be administered intranasally, namely, chlorpheniramine maleate (CPM) and xylitol (X). This study aimed to test the efficacy of intranasal CPM plus xylitol (CPM+X) nasal for the treatment of AR in an outpatient setting. A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, 30-day pilot study was conducted during the spring of 2019. After starting five days of placebo therapy (run-in period), patients with moderate-to-severe AR nasal symptoms were randomized to treatment with CPM+X (n=16) spray and nasal saline placebo (PLB; n=13). Both treatments were administered in the form of one spray dose (~100 µL of the solution containing 1.25 mg CPM) per nostril twice a day. Outcome variables were the changes in visual analog scale (VAS) and daily symptoms score (DSS) at days 1, 5, 10, 15, 25, and 30 after the initiation of the treatment. ANOVA (analysis of variance) with repeated revealed a significant treatment-by-time interaction such that the CPM+X group had a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in both DSS (∆-3.0 ± 2.7) and VAS (∆-3.8 ± 2.0) scores compared to PLB after 30 days. The difference in DSS and VAS scores between the groups was evident just after five days (day 10) of using CPM+X. The CPM+X scores were significantly lower (p < 0.008) starting from day 10 compared with day 1, whereas there were no statistically significant (p > 0.008) changes in the PLB during the 30-day treatment window. The present data suggest that nasal CPM+X use effectively improves AR symptoms. A large-scale study of the long-term effects of CPM+X for the treatment of other chronic respiratory disorders and the potential microbiome-modulating effects warrants further investigation.

Keywords: allergy; chlorpheniramine maleate; rhinitis; xylitol.