Åberg N, Dahl Å, Benson M. A nasally applied cellulose powder in seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) in children and adolescents; reduction of symptoms and relation to pollen load. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2011; 22: 594–599.
Background: A nasally applied cellulose powder is increasingly used in many countries as a remedy for allergic rhinitis. The absence of side effects makes the treatment particularly attractive in children. The efficacy in pollen allergic children, however, is not studied, nor is the relation to various pollen exposures.
Methods: During the birch pollen season in 2009, a double blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted in 53 subjects, aged 8–18 yr, with allergic rhinitis attributed to birch pollen. All children were on daily oral antihistamine. Reminders and reporting of symptom scores were made by SMS on mobile phones. Pollen was collected in a volumetric trap from which figures of pollen concentrations from 1979 to 2009 were available.
Results: There was a significant reduction in total symptom scores from the nose (Placebo 7.29, Active 6.07, p = 0.033) and specifically for running nose (Placebo 2.56, Active 2.03, p = 0.017). All symptoms from the nose, eyes and lower airways were lower in the active group but reached significance only as earlier. The best effect was seen after days with low or moderate pollen counts (≤100/m3), the predominating pollen load over 31 yr in the area. No clinically significant adverse effects were seen.
Conclusions: The product reduces symptoms of SAR in children and adolescents. Original data on pollen concentrations over 31 yr are presented with levels mainly in the low range favouring the observed efficacy profile. SMS communication on mobile phone for reminders and recording symptom scores was an excellent logistics tool.