Purpose: Allergic rhinitis (AR) affects up to 40 million Americans, with an estimated cost of $2.7 billion per annum. This review discusses several therapeutic options that reduce the symptoms of AR, including allergen avoidance, antihistamines, intranasal corticosteroids (INS), leukotriene receptor antagonists, and immunotherapy.
Data sources: The articles included in this review were retrieved by a search of Medline literature on the subjects of AR, antihistamines, INS, leukotriene antagonists, and immunotherapy, as well as current published guidelines for the treatment of AR.
Conclusions: Allergen avoidance is recommended for all patients prior to pharmacologic therapy. Oral and nasal H1-antihistamines are recommended to alleviate the mild and intermittent symptoms of AR, and INS are recommended as the first-line treatment choice for mild persistent and more moderate-to-severe persistent AR.
Implications for practice: There are a number of different types of therapy for the management of AR; with so many options available, successful tailoring of treatment to suit individual requirements is realistically achievable.