Safety and efficacy of oral fexofenadine in children with seasonal allergic rhinitis – a pooled analysis of three studies


Professor Eli O. Meltzer, Allergy and Asthma Medical Group and Research Center, 9610 Granite Ridge Drive, San Diego, CA, USA
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Allergic rhinitis is one of the most common clinical conditions in children; however, data regarding the safety of antihistamines in children with seasonal allergic rhinitis are limiting. To evaluate the safety and efficacy of fexofenadine in children with seasonal allergic rhinitis, data were pooled from three, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, 2-week trials in children (6–11 year) with seasonal allergic rhinitis. All studies assessed fexofenadine HCl 30 mg b.i.d.; two studies included fexofenadine HCl at 15 and 60 mg b.i.d. Patients (and investigators) reported any adverse events during the trial. Physical examinations, including measurements of vital signs and laboratory tests, were performed. Efficacy assessments (total symptom score and individual symptom scores) were evaluated. Exposure to fexofenadine HCl 30 mg b.i.d. and to any fexofenadine dose exceeded 10,000 and 17,000 patient days, respectively. Incidences of adverse events, and discontinuations because of adverse events, were low and similar across treatment groups. In the placebo group, 24.4% of subjects reported adverse events compared with 24.1% for fexofenadine HCl 30 mg b.i.d., and 28.4% for all fexofenadine-treated groups. The most common adverse event overall was headache (4.3% placebo; 5.8% fexofenadine HCl 30 mg b.i.d.; and 7.2% any fexofenadine doses). Treatment-related adverse events were similar across treatment groups with no sedative effects. Fexofenadine HCl 30 mg b.i.d. was significantly superior to placebo in reducing the total symptom score and all individual seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms, including nasal congestion (p < 0.05). Fexofenadine, at doses of up to 60 mg b.i.d., is safe and non-sedating, and fexofenadine HCl 30 mg b.i.d. effectively reduces all seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms in children aged 6–11 years.