Fluticasone propionate aqueous spray, a new intranasal corticosteroid preparation, and disodium eromoglyeate 2% aqueous nasal spray, an established preventive treatment for seasonal allergic rhinitis, were compared in a double-blind, double-dummy, parallel-group, multicentric study in France. A total of 218 patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis caused by grass pollen (verified by positive skin prick test) were preventively treated before the onset of the grass pollen season with either fluticasone propionate 200 μg once daily or disodium cromoglycate 5.2 mg four times daily. Half of these doses was given in each nostril. Treatment started before the onset of the pollen season in most patients (178/218). Diary cards, including symptoms of rhinitis and usage of nasal sprays, were filled in twice daily for 5 weeks.
Terfenadine in 60-mg tablets and eye-drops could be used as rescue medications. We treated 110 patients with fluticasone propionate and 108 patients with disodium cromoglycate. Patients treated with flutieasone propionate had significantly more days free of primary efficacy symptoms of sneezing (P < 0.001) and nasal discharge during the day (P= 0.002), as well as free of all the other nasal symptoms (P < 0.0l), and significantly lower median scores (P < 0.05) for all nasal symptoms except nasal discharge than patients treated with disodium cromoglycate. There was no difference in eye symptoms or in rescue medication use between the two groups. Compliance with the treatment was assessed. Eleven patients recorded incorrect use of both nasal sprays for over 25% of days, and 55 patients recorded incorrect use of four-times-daily spray only; no patient recorded incorrect use of morning spray only. Both treatments were generally well tolerated.