Cysteinyl leukotriene and leukotriene receptor occupancy have been linked to several processes in seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR), including nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, and recruitment of inflammatory cells. We investigated whether add-on loratadine, an antihistamine, might be effective
for SAR patients showing unsatisfactory control of symptoms with the leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA) montelukast alone. Patients with SAR caused by Japanese cedar pollen (SAR-JCP; mean age, 29.4 years) were given prophylactic montelukast for 1 month before peak JCP dispersal. Patients
recorded the severity of the symptoms (sneezing, rhinorrhea, nasal congestion, and ocular symptoms) daily on visual analog scale (VAS). We selected patients with VAS scores of >50 for any of the symptoms just before the peak pollen season (March 2 to March 8) and designated them as “poorly
controlled” patients. Then, in the peak JCP season (from March 9), we conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to determine whether add-on loratadine might be effective for these “poorly controlled” patients. Montelukast alone was effective, as evaluated
by improvement of the VAS scores, in 95 of the 137 patients (69.3%). Add-on loratadine significantly decreased the total scores for nasal symptoms (p < 0.05), sneezing (p < 0.05), and rhinorrhea (p < 0.05) when compared with placebo. The symptoms of SAR in two of three SAR-JP patients
could be controlled (VAS score[s] under 50) by prophylactic treatment with montelukast alone under the condition of mild JCP dispersal. Furthermore, the effect of add-on antihistamine on sneezing and rhinorrhea was found in selected SAR-JCP patients.
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