Intranasal corticosteroids have been shown to decrease ocular symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis as well as nasal symptoms. The primary objective of this retrospective analysis was to evaluate the efficacy of fluticasone propionate (FP) aqueous nasal spray in the treatment of ocular symptoms in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR). We pooled efficacy data from seven multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of similar design. Each study evaluated the efficacy of intranasal FP, 200 g, given once daily in the treatment of nasal and ocular symptoms associated with SAR. At baseline and after 7 and 14 days of treatment, clinicians rated the severity of four individual ocular symptoms (itching, tearing, redness, and puffiness) via visual analog scales of 0-100, where 0 = no symptoms and 100 = worst symptoms. The four ratings were added to form the total ocular symptom score (TOSS). Patients rated the overall severity of their ocular symptoms (all symptoms evaluated with a single score) daily on diary cards in a similar fashion. The primary outcome was the mean change from baseline in the clinician-rated TOSS. A between-group difference of 25 points in the mean change from baseline TOSS by day 14 was considered clinically relevant. The FP group had greater mean changes from baseline in the TOSS and in all four individual symptom scores compared with placebo at days 7 and 14. At day 7, mean decreases from baseline in the TOSS were 76.0 points for the FP group and 50.9 points for the placebo group (p < 0.001), a difference between groups of 25.1. At day 14, mean decreases from baseline in the TOSS were 91.8 points for the FP group and 60.2 points for the placebo group (p < 0.001), a difference between groups of 31.6. Consistent with the clinician-rated data, patient-rated data showed a significantly greater reduction in the overall ocular symptom score for the FP group compared with placebo for both weeks 1 and 2 (p < 0.001). Intranasal FP provides safe and effective relief of ocular symptoms associated with SAR. Patients with allergic rhinitis who also have ocular symptoms as a component of their disease may benefit from intranasal FP monotherapy without the addition of topical ophthalmologic agents or oral antihistamines. Such an approach may have advantages regarding compliance and cost-effectiveness of treatment.
Document Type: Original Article
Publication date: September 1, 2003
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