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Safety considerations of intranasal corticosteroids for the treatment of allergic rhinitis

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Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a major chronic inflammatory disease of the upper airways. AR is increasing in prevalence and causes negative effects on quality of life, impairs performance and productivity, and imposes a serious economic burden. More than 20% of the American population suffers from AR. Intranasal corticosteroids (INS) are an effective and safe first-line treatment for AR, with potent anti-inflammatory properties and a high therapeutic ratio. The systemic bioavailability of the majority of INS is relatively low; however, the pharmacokinetics of absorption, first-pass metabolism, volume of distribution, half-life, and clearance of INS varies considerably, depending on lipophilicity, receptor affinity, and lipid conjugation in the nasal tissue. The short-term (e.g., effect on linear lower-leg growth rate) and long-term (e.g., effect on height) systemic side effects of INS in patients with AR are determined by these important characteristics. AR is present in up to 75% of patients with asthma, and patients with AR are three times more likely to develop asthma compared with patients without AR. Therefore, the overall increased systemic steroid burden resulting from concomitant use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and INS in adult and pediatric patients with comorbid AR and asthma warrants critical monitoring of systemic side effects. This review evaluates the overall safety of INS in AR and the importance of systemic safety considerations of INS, particularly when coadministered with ICS.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics and Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis, Tennessee

Publication date: March 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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