Background If monotherapy with an intranasal corticosteroid can alleviate both nasal and ocular symptoms of allergic rhinitis, treatment may be simplified and costs may be reduced.
Objective The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of once-daily fluticasone propionate (FP) aqueous nasal spray 200 μg compared with vehicle placebo and oral loratadine (LOR) 10 mg in reducing ocular symptoms associated with seasonal allergic rhinitis.
Methods A total of 471 patients received vehicle placebo, LOR, or FP in this multi-centre, double-blind, double-dummy, randomized study. Patients were12 years old with a history of seasonal allergic rhinitis and a positive skin test for a relevant allergen. During the baseline and treatment periods, patients rated the severity of eye itching, tearing, and redness via visual analogue scales that ranged from 0 (no symptoms) to 100 (most severe symptoms). The three ocular ratings were added to derive the total ocular symptom score (TOSS). Patients with a TOSS120 on at least 4 of the 7 days before the randomization visit were enrolled. The primary outcome was the difference between FP and vehicle placebo in the mean change from baseline in the reflective TOSS overall (averaged over the 28-day treatment period). A difference between FP and vehicle placebo of 25.5 was considered clinically significant.
Results The overall mean change from baseline in the TOSS was significantly greater in the FP group compared with vehicle placebo (clinically significant difference of 28.8; P<0.001) and compared with LOR (difference of 16.2; P=0.028). Overall mean (SEM) changes were −59.9 (5.4) for the placebo group, −72.5 (5.4) for the LOR group, and −88.7 (5.3) for the FP group. The FP treatment group also showed significantly greater overall mean changes in ocular itching, tearing, and redness compared with vehicle placebo (P<0.001) and compared with LOR (P0.045).
Conclusion Patients treated with intranasal FP had clinically and statistically significant decreases in ocular symptom scores compared with vehicle placebo. Data also suggest that FP reduced ocular symptoms more than or comparable with oral LOR. Patients experiencing ocular symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis may benefit from monotherapy with intranasal FP.