What Is the Main Idea?
Allergic rhinitis is an unpleasant condition that can significantly impact people’s quality of life. There is no cure, but perhaps there is a treatment option that can quickly and effectively alleviate the symptoms. This post is based on a recent open access review titled “MP-AzeFlu in Moderate-to-Severe Allergic Rhinitis: A Literature Review” and published in the journal International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, which looks at a combination antihistamine/corticosteroid treatment named MP-AzeFlu.
What Else Can You Learn?
This post also includes information on other treatments for allergic rhinitis.
What Is Allergic Rhinitis?
If you get a runny or blocked nose, itchy or watery eyes, and/or sneeze a lot every time there’s pollen or dust in the air, then you probably have allergic rhinitis. This is an allergic reaction — and quite an unpleasant one! I have allergic rhinitis myself, triggered by dust mites and mold spores, so I definitely empathize with you if you have it too. Allergic rhinitis is often accompanied by other issues: asthma, sinus problems, conjunctivitis and other issues related to irritation of the eye, sleep disturbance and even dermatitis.
As discussed in the article “MP-AzeFlu in Moderate-to-Severe Allergic Rhinitis: A Literature Review”, allergic rhinitis is commonly moderate to severe, and it can have a significant impact on quality of life. A range of treatments are available, but most patients are not satisfied with their current treatment.
How Is Allergic Rhinitis Treated?
Allergic reactions are the immune system overreacting to an allergen, which is often a harmless particle or protein. The body releases histamine, which is normally only released in response to something harmful, such as an infection. It mediates bodily reactions intended to stop the harm from spreading, such as swelling, blood vessel expansion and mucous production.
There is no cure for an allergy. Any treatment aims to control the symptoms and/or suppress the immune system overreaction.
Allergic rhinitis is the overreaction to airborne allergens. Treatment options include:
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays that reduce inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory protein synthesis
- Decongestant nasal sprays that cause blood vessels to contract, reducing swelling and making breathing easier
- Non-steroidal, non-decongestant nasal sprays that can relieve itchiness
- Prophylactic or on-demand antihistamines that block the effects of histamine in your body
- Immunotherapy, which involves controlled exposure to increasing concentrations of the allergen to try to retrain the immune system
- Lifestyle changes that are intended to reduce the amount of an allergen present in your environment
Doctors will often prescribe more than one treatment in cases of moderate and severe allergic rhinitis. However, even with this approach, satisfactory results can be difficult to achieve. Not every medication works well for every patient. Some of the medications are not suitable for long-term use, e.g., decongestants and itch-relieving nasal sprays. In addition, some patients do not follow the treatment regimen precisely, resulting in changes in the daily intake.
What Is MP-AzeFlu?
MP-AzeFlu is a combination product with an antihistamine (azelastine hydrochloride, AZE) and a corticosteroid (fluticasone propionate, FP). AZE and FP have shown synergistic effects in allergic rhinitis treatment. AZE is the inhibitor and FP is the anti-inflammatory. MP-AzeFlu delivers both medications in a nasal spray.
The article “MP-AzeFlu in Moderate-to-Severe Allergic Rhinitis: A Literature Review” focuses on whether MP-AzeFlu might be more effective than other treatment options.
What’s the Conclusion?
The authors analyzed the results of 16 studies on the efficacy of MP-AzeFlu against allergic rhinitis and established that:
- Long-term use of MP-AzeFlu is safe, with benefits in children and adults, including people over 65 years old.
- Other treatment options do not provide the same rapid and sustained relief from allergic rhinitis. This includes AZE or FP on their own or a combination of intranasal corticosteroids and an oral antihistamine.
- MP-AzeFlu improves patient quality of life.
- MP-AzeFlu has the potential to be a first-line therapy for allergic rhinitis.
- Using a single medication like this may improve patient adherence to treatment.
Note: Some of the authors of the paper declared that they have received grants and consultancy work from pharmaceutical companies. It is normal for authors to declare this in case it might be perceived as a conflict of interest. More detail can be found in the Conflict of Interest statement at the end of the referenced paper.