Adjunct effect of loratadine in the treatment of acute sinusitis in patients with allergic rhinitis


Jean Bousquet, Hôpital Arnaud de Villeneuve, 34295 Montpellier Cedex 5, France


H1-blockers are often added to the standard treatment of acute sinusitis, but this is not supported by a controlled study. A multicentric, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study was done in 139 allergic patients (15–65 years) to assess the adjunct efficacy of loratadine in acute exacerbation of rhinosinusitis. Sinusitis was diagnosed by symptoms and confirmed by rhinoscopy and sinus radiograph. Allergy was characterized by skin tests, RAST, and history. Patients were treated with antibiotics (14 days), oral corticosteroids (10 days), and loratadine (10 mg OD) or placebo (28 days). Treatment efficacy was assessed over 28 days by symptom scores quoted daily by patients. Physicians also rated total symptom scores at entry and at day 28. At entry, both groups had similar symptoms. Placebo-treated patients improved significantly, but patients who received loratadine had a significantly greater improvement in sneezing (P=0.003) after 14 days, and in nasal obstruction (P=0.002) after 28 days. Physicians found that patients receiving loratadine were significantly improved compared to placebo patients (P=0. 0125). Loratadine in addition to standard therapy was found to improve the control of some symptoms of sinusitis.