American Journal of Respiratory Medicine

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 55–65

Comparison of Intranasal Corticosteroids and Antihistamines in Allergic Rhinitis

A Review of Randomized, Controlled Trials
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF03256639

Cite this article as:
Nielsen, L.P. & Dahl, R. Am J Respir Med (2003) 2: 55. doi:10.1007/BF03256639


For several years there has been discussion of whether first-line pharmacological treatment of allergic rhinitis should be antihistamines or intranasal corticosteroids. No well documented, clinically relevant differences seem to exist for individual nonsedating antihistamines in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Likewise, the current body of literature does not seem to favor any specific intranasal corticosteroid. When comparing efficacy of antihistamines and intranasal corticosteroids in allergic rhinitis, present data favor intranasal corticosteroids. Interestingly, data do not support antihistamines as superior in treating conjunctivitis associated with allergic rhinitis. Safety data from comparative studies in allergic rhinitis do not indicate differences between antihistamines and intranasal corticosteroids. Combining antihistamines and intranasal corticosteroids in the treatment of allergic rhinitis does not provide additional beneficial effects to intranasal corticosteroids alone.

Considering present data, intranasal corticosteroids seem to offer superior relief in allergic rhinitis, when compared with antihistamines.

Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical PharmacologyUniversity of AarhusAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Respiratory DiseasesAarhus University HospitalAarhusDenmark

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