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Keywords:

  • allergic rhinitis;
  • leukotriene receptor antagonist;
  • montelukast;
  • H1 receptor antagonist;
  • cetirizine

Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) were recently added to the method of treating allergic rhinitis (AR). However, in children under 6 yr old, there has been no study about its efficacy in treating AR. We aim to compare the clinical efficacy of montelukast, cetirizine and placebo in the treatment of children from 2 to 6 yr old with perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR), to see if there are any significant differences. Sixty children were selected and treated with montelukast, or cetirizine, or placebo once daily. The efficacy of the three agents was compared with the Pediatric Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (PRQLQ) and Total Symptom Score (TSS) by diary. In addition, we also examined serum IgE, serum eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), blood eosinophil counts, nasal airway resistance (NAR) and eosinophil percentage in nasal smears. The results revealed that both montelukast and cetirizine were significantly efficacious compared with placebo in NAR, eosinophil percentage in nasal smears, PRQLQ, TSS and all symptom items except nasal itching, throat itching and tearing. For nasal itching, only cetirizine was significantly efficacious. On the other hand, for night sleep quality, montelukast was significantly superior to cetirizine.