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Azelastine and fluticasone nasal spray: any advantage?


Allergic rhinitis affects over 20% of the UK population. It can have a significant impact on quality of life and interferes with both attendance and performance at school and at work.1 Intranasal corticosteroids are widely recognised as the most effective symptomatic treatment available, but oral or intranasal new generation antihistamines are usually offered as first-line treatment for intermittent symptoms.1,2 Patients with moderate to severe allergic rhinitis may require a combination of drugs, and many patients only achieve limited control of their symptoms.3 Dymista is described as a novel intranasal formulation combining the antihistamine azelastine hydrochloride with the corticosteroid fluticasone propionate.3 It is licensed for the relief of symptoms of moderate to severe seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis in adults and adolescents if monotherapy with either intranasal antihistamine or glucocorticoid is not considered sufficient.4 The manufacturer claims that compared with fluticasone or azelastine alone, Dymista is twice as effective (when placebo effect is excluded) in providing relief from both nasal and ocular symptoms, and leads to greater overall relief from nasal symptoms. It also claims that Dymista controls nasal symptoms up to 6 days faster than fluticasone.5 Here we consider the evidence for Dymista and whether it represents a significant advantage in the management of patients with allergic rhinitis.

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