Home » Business News » 2011 » April » April 26, 2011

MEDA/Online survey on treating allergic rhinitis: Patients mostly want to improve their quality of life

April 26, 2011 - London

CGC /MEDA/Online survey on treating allergic rhinitis: Patients mostly want to improve their quality of life . Processed and transmitted by Thomson Reuters ONE.The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

The potential for improving the quality of life is the most important property of any hay fever medication for those affected. So said the results of an international survey carried out on the Internet platform The aim of the survey was to find out which properties of hay fever treatment patients see as most beneficial to themselves in their daily lives. Increasing the quality of life and fast relief were the properties that received not only the highest average values but also the highest values overall. The pressure felt by patients suffering from hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is very high. Those affected by it experience severe limitations to their activities in all areas of their lives. The desire for a fast-acting and easy-to-use therapy is thus easy to understand and also in keeping with the notions of the international association ARIA*. According to their guidelines, a hay fever therapy should not only aim at reducing symptoms but also offer sufferers, among other things, an ability to pursue their daily commitments and take part in leisure-time activities without any limitations. Such an improvement in the quality of life is possible by employing a custom-tailored therapy with Azelastine nasal spray and eye drops. This antihistamine from the family of new histamines, H1 receptor blockers, acts local, at sites just where it is needed.  It starts to work against all symptoms[1] in just 10 to 15 minutes[4]. Azelastine has the advantage that it can be used when symptoms appear[10] as well as a preventive.


There are numerous symptoms of hay fever: a congested or constantly runny nose, sneezing attacks, red, teary and light-sensitive eyes, often with swollen lids. Characteristics also include itching of the eyes, nose, palate and throat, sometimes even the ears. A dry, hacking cough, difficulties breathing, headaches and even abdominal troubles can also occur. If hay fever remains untreated, it can develop into allergic Asthma. Even though such symptoms only appear bothersome at first, in the long run they can not only impair the way we feel but also disrupt how we go about our daily lives. Over time, night wakefulness makes us groggy and sleepy all day long, resulting in difficulties concentrating which in turn hamper performance not only at work and school but also during sports and leisure-time activities. Considering all this, any therapy for allergic Rhinitis should not only aim to reduce symptoms but also focus on improving the quality of life of those affected.


10 good reasons to decide for treatment using Azelastine


Effective help against all symptoms
In contrast to other possible therapies, Azelastine relieves effectively the symptoms of allergic Rhinitis, such as a runny and congested nose, itching and sneezing. The eye drops relieve the itchy and teary eyes caused by accompanying conjunctivitis[1]. Azelastine works at least as well if not better than intra-nasal corticosteroids but is much easier to tolerate[2],[3].


Azelastine works faster than other therapies: The nasal spray frees air passages from symptoms after only 10 to 15 minutes[4]. Azelastine eye drops reduce symptoms after only 3 minutes[5]. In contrast, nasal corticoids don't start working for up to two hours[6], and oral antihistamines sometimes not even up to three hours later[7].


Azelastine works for up to 12 hours. So it only has to be used twice a day[8].


Easy to use
One spray of Azelastine nasal spray per nostril or two drops in each eye twice daily are enough to effectively relieve the symptoms of allergic Rhinitis and conjunctivitis[9]. At the start of therapy, or for patients with severe symptoms, the dose can be increased to two blasts of spray per nostril twice a day.


Flexible: use when needed
Because it works so fast, it is enough to use the nasal spray or eye drops when the first symptoms have already appeared and rapid relief is desired (first-dose effect)[10]. Constant use, or even preventive use long before the first symptoms appear, such as that needed with other active agents, is unnecessary with Azelastine. Sufferers can therefore do without planning a long time ahead and consulting pollen forecasts.


Does not cause fatigue
As opposed to earlier antihistamines, Azelastine does not cause fatigue. On the contrary: Azelastine increases alertness in patients with allergic Rhinitis by treating the actual cause of the disease itself[11]. Azelastine is applied locally, meaning where the actual allergic reaction occurs and symptoms appear. Other parts of the body only receive a small amount of the active agent. This is why side effects occur only rarely, even more rarely than for other therapies with oral antihistamines or nasal corticoids[12],[13]. Azelastine nasal spray and eye drops are also well tolerated for long-term use (even for children: nasal spray from 12 years, eye drops from 4 years old)[14],[15],[16].


Effective against various types of allergic rhinitis
Both seasonal and perennial (permanent) allergic Rhinitis are relieved with Azelastine. Azelastine is also the only anti-allergic medication approved for use against vasomotoric rhinitis, inflammation of nasal mucous membranes not caused by a virus or bacteria[12],[17].


Reliable effect
Azelastine even works for patients for whom antihistamines in tablet form or corticosteroids in spray form have not brought the desired relief (non-responders)[18]. Azelastine thus makes it unnecessary to step-up treatment to the point of requiring use of both an oral antihistamine and an intra-nasal corticosteroid.


More than just an anti-allergic effect
Allergic Rhinitis is a complex disorder in which a number of different cells in the human immune system and mediators take part. Most antihistamines only have an anti-allergic effect meaning they only work to counteract the histamine H1 receptors. Azelastine does more: It also has an anti-inflammatory effect. This specifically prevents troublesome nasal obstruction and furthermore stabilizes the membranes of mastocytes, thus preventing the output of other substances that take part in creating the allergic reaction[19-23].


Azelastine improves the quality of life
Azelastine can eliminate all symptoms of allergic Rhinitis and accompanying conjunctivitis quickly and for a longer time. It can be used only when needed. Also, Azelastine has only few side effects. Therefore, when pursuing daily activities sufferers are impaired neither by their allergic symptoms nor by the therapy for it. The quality of sleep also improves with Azelastine[14],[16]. Treatment using Azelastine thus represents a decisive factor for improving the quality of life for hay fever patients.



* ARIA: international initiative onAllergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma
1 Bousquet et al, (in cooperation with ARIA), Eur J Allergy Clin Immunol 2008; 63 (Suppl 86): 8-160.
2 Patel et al, Am J Rhinol 2007, 21: 499-503
3 Behncke et al, Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2006
4 Baumgarten CR et al, J Pharmacol Ther 1994; 3:43-51
5 Friedlaender MH et al, Opthalmology 2000, 107:2152-7
6 Patel P et al, Am J Rhinol 2007, 21: 499-503
7 Horak F et al, Curr Med Res Opin2006, 22:151-7
8 Greiff L et al, Clin Exp Allergy 1997, 27:438-444
9 Secchi et al, Internal Report MEDA GmbH & Co. KG, A-05610/8800000131 (2966), 1996.
10 Ciprandi et al, J Allergy Clin Immunol 1997a; 99: 301-307
11 Spaeth J et al, Allergy 1996,51:893-906
12 LaForce et al, Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2004, 93: 154-9
13 Ratner PH et al, J Allergy Clin Immunol 1994, 94:818-825
14 Golden S et al, Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2000, 85:53-57
15 Grossman J et al, Ann Allergy 1994, 73:141-146
16 Gastpar H et al, Arzneimittelforschung 1993, 43:771-776
17 Lieberman et al, Curr Med Res Opin 2005; 21:611-618
18 Berger WE et al, Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2003, 91: 205-11
19 McTavish D, Sorkin EM, Drugs 1989, 38 :778-800
20 Ciprandi G et al., J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1996, 98 :1088-1096
21 Kampuraj D et al., Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2002, 88:501-506
22 Horak F, Zieglmayer UP 2009, Clin Immunol 5(6): 659-69
23 Gehanno P et al, ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec 2001, 63:76-81



6739 characters (including spaces and title, but not additional information).

Reprint free of charge, copy of publication requested.

Further information:



Results of the international survey on treating allergic rhinitis

  • Goal: What properties of the antihistamine Azelastine are most beneficial to patients in their daily lives?
  • Valuation of existing properties using a scale of 1 (unimportant) to 10 (very important)
  • Properties that could be evaluated: rapid relief of symptoms, flexible use when needed, improvement in quality of life, steroid-free with the same good effect of steroids, effective for non-responders
  • Results:
    The improvement in the quality of life received an average weighting of 7.45, followed by rapid relief of symptoms with an average value of 7.23.
    Improvement in the quality of life achieved the highest value most frequently of all responses with 63,91% of all values given (in the range of 9 to 10).
    All above-mentioned properties achieved average values of at least 6.7 and are thus all viewed by all respondents as important.


Screen saver shower of blossoms:


Those suffering from allergies can now rejoice in a shower of blossoms without any symptoms. A free screen saver can be downloaded free of charge at the Azelastine Internet portal showing images of blossoms - in spite of the allergy-causing pollen they have.



Contact for press:

Cramer-Gesundheits-Consulting GmbH    
Dr. Sibylle Bergmann-Matz and Andrea Holst
PF 1107   PF 1107
65741 Eschborn   65741 Eschborn
Germany   Germany
Fax: +49 (0)6196 - 7766 - 216   Fax: +49 (0)6196 - 7766 - 216
Email:   Email:
For medical questions:    
Dr. Larisa Leibersperger    
MEDA Pharma GmbH & Co. KG    
Benzstrasse 1    
61352 Bad Homburg    
Tel.: +49 6172 888 2631    



MEDA AB (publ) is a leading international specialty pharmaceutical company. Meda's products are distributed worldwide in 120 countries and the company is represented with its own branches in more than 40 countries. Meda shares are listed on the Large Cap Nasdaq OMX Nordic Stock Exchange in Stockholm. For further information visit us at


MEDA Pharma GmbH & Co. KG
HEadquarters: Bad Homburg v.d.H.
Municipal court: Bad Homburg v.d.H.; HRA 4628
Personally liable partner: MEDA Verwaltungs GmbH Amtsgericht Bad Homburg v.d.H.; HRB 9810
Managing Directors: Dr. Jörg-Thomas Dierks, Hans-Jürgen Kromp


--- End of Message ---

Rathauspaltz 12 - 14 Eschborn Germany

This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients.

The owner of this announcement warrants that:
(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the
information contained therein.

Source: CGC via Thomson Reuters ONE



Comment on this story