• allergic and non-allergic;
  • congestion;
  • drug;
  • medication;
  • neurogenic;
  • pruritus;
  • reflex;
  • rhinitis;
  • rhinorrhea;
  • sneezing;
  • vasomotor


Background Rhinitis is characterized by inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the nose and can be divided into two categories, allergic and non-allergic. Drug-induced is a type of non-allergic rhinitis.

Objective A review of the literature was conducted. Very little is known about this topic and there are no publications to date solely devoted to drug-induced rhinitis.

Methods A PubMed and Medline search was conducted using a combination of the keywords; drug, medication, rhinitis, congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, pruritus, vasomotor, reflex, neurogenic, allergic and non-allergic. Medications that were found in the search were then cross-referenced with the physicians desk reference and Epocrates. The final literature search was conducted in August 2009.

Results Three categories of drug-induced rhinitis exist based on the mechanism of action. These include local inflammatory, neurogenic and idiopathic types. Rhinitis medicamentosa, a form of drug-induced rhinitis, has unique characteristics.

Conclusion When possible, the offending medication should be discontinued or substituted. Although there are no established treatment recommendations for drug-induced rhinitis other than avoidance, clinical experience suggests that it would be reasonable to initiate use of an intranasal corticosteroid spray to treat symptomatically. The addition of an intranasal antihistamine in combination with use of an intranasal corticosteroid may be considered as step-up therapy if the intranasal corticosteroid alone is not effective.

Cite this as: M. Varghese, M. C. Glaum and R. F. Lockey, Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2010 (40) 381–384.