ALLERGY CENTER

ALLERGY CENTER

News, trends, and more—focused on providing you up-to-date information about allergies and allergy symptom relief.

Myths and Facts About Nasal Allergies

Allergy symptoms, prevalence, and allergy treatment options are often perceived incorrectly, which can lead to a lot of conflicting information. It’s important to understand the differences between the myths and the facts.

MYTH 1: All nasal sprays are the same.
FACT: Not all nasal sprays are created equal. Intranasal steroids like those in the FLONASE® Brand Family, do not work via vasoconstriction, or the narrowing of blood vessels that inevitably raises blood pressure, and they do not cause rebounds.1,2 However, the FLONASE® Brand Family DOES provide comprehensive relief of nasal allergy symptoms.

MYTH 2: It takes 2 weeks or more to get full allergy relief with intranasal corticosteroid sprays.
FACT: Not with FLONASE® Brand products. In fact, in some patients, FLONASE® Allergy Relief starts to act in 2 to 4 hours. Most FLONASE® Allergy Relief patients have achieved some symptom relief in 12 hours, with significant symptom improvement within 24 to 48 hours. The maximum benefits of FLONASE® Allergy Relief can be reached in 3 to 4 days.1,3-4

MYTH 3: Nasal allergies are a minor nuisance.
FACT: Many nasal allergy sufferers disagree. The symptoms of nasal allergies can have a strong negative impact on patients’ lives, including fatigue,5,6 trouble sleeping,5,6 and difficulty breathing.7 These disruptive symptoms affect both life at home and also at work—an estimated 3.4 million workdays are lost per year due to nasal allergy symptoms.8

MYTH 4: Antihistamines are the only first-line treatment for nasal allergies.
FACT: Rather than antihistamines, intranasal corticosteroid sprays are recognized as first-line treatment for allergic rhinitis.9 Single-ingredient antihistamines only block histamine, while FLONASE® Brand products work to block 6 key inflammatory mediators (including histamine) to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms.*3,10,11

MYTH 5: Nasal sprays are dangerous steroids.
FACT: No need to worry about FLONASE® Brand products, since they are not anabolic steroids. FLONASE® Allergy Relief has been used for nearly 20 years and has a well-established safety profile. Also, with less than 1% systemic absorption,1,3,12 it does not cause drowsiness1,3,12 or sleepiness.1,13

MYTH 6: FLONASE® Brand products can’t be used for a long time.
FACT: 100% false! FLONASE® Brand products can be used once daily for up to 6 months as part of a regular treatment regimen for adults. This regimen works to manage disruptive allergy symptoms caused by SAR (seasonal allergic rhinitis) and PAR (perennial allergic rhinitis).1

MYTH 7: FLONASE® Brand products aren’t as strong as the original prescription treatments.
FACT: On the contrary, over-the-counter FLONASE® Brand products have the same adult dosing and administration,1,4 chemical composition,1 and strength1,4 as they had when they were prescription products.

MYTH 8: Nasal allergies only affect patients at certain times of the year.
FACT: Actually, for many patients, allergies affect life year-round due to climate change and other environmental factors. This is particularly true for patients who are continually exposed to high levels of airborne allergens, such as pollen, mold spores, and house dust mites.14,15

*Mechanism vs most allergy pills. FLONASE® Allergy Relief acts on multiple inflammatory mediators (histamine, prostaglandins, cytokines, tryptases, chemokines, and leukotrienes). The exact number and precise mechanism are unknown.

References

1. Data on file. GlaxoSmithKline. 2013. 2. Nasal spray: are you overdoing it? WebMD website. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/nasal-spray-are-you-overdoing-it?page=2. Accessed October 16. 2014. 3. Derendorf H. Meltzer EO. Molecular and clinical pharmacology of intranasal corticosteroids: clinical and therapeutic implications. Allergy. 2008;63(10):1292-1300. 4. FLONASE Brand Products Drug Fact Labels 5. Brooks M. Allergic rhinitis a significant burden. Medscape website. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/739928. Published March 30, 2011. Accessed April 23, 2014. 6. Craig TJ, Teets S, Lehman EB, Chinchilli VM, Zwillich C. Nasal congestion secondary to allergic rhinitis as a cause of sleep disturbance and daytime fatigue and the response to topical nasal corticosteroids. J Allergy Clin lmmunol. 1998;101(5):633-637. 7. Sardana N, Craig TJ. Congestion and sleep impairment in allergic rhinitis. Asian Pac J Allergy lmmunol. 2011;29(4):297-306. 8. Tanner LA, Reilly M, Meltzer EO, Bradford JE, Mason J. Effect of fexofenadine HCI on quality of life and work, classroom, and daily activity impairment in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis. Am J Managed Care. 1999;5(4, suppl):S235-S247. 9. Bousquet J, Khaltaev N, Cruz AA, et al. Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA). Allergy. 2008;63(suppl 86)8-160). 10. Ratner PH, van Bavel JH, Martin BG, et al. A comparison of the efficacy of fluticasone propionate aqueous nasal spray and loratadine, alone and in combination, for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. J Fam Pract. 1998;47(2):118-125. 11. Bachert C, Geveart P. Effect of intranasal corticosteroids on release of cytokines and inflammatory mediators. Allergy. 1999;54(suppl 57):116-123. 12.FDA approves first generic version of Flonase [news release]. Silver Spring Maryland: US Food and Drug Administration; February 22,2006.http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2006/ucm108603.htm. Updated April 8, 2013. Accessed October 14, 2014. 13. MedlinePlus. Prednisone. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a601102.html. Accessed April 2014. 14. Beggs PJ. Impacts of climate change on aeroallergens: past and future. Clin Exp Allergy. 2004;34(10):1507-1513. 15. Yawn BP. Comparison of once-daily intranasal corticosteroids for the treatment of allergic rhinitis: are they all the same? Med Gen Med. 2006;8(1):23.

Allergic Rhinitis— Helping Patients Gain A Greater Understanding

Millions of patients nationwide have allergic rhinitis. However, many of them don’t fully understand what allergic rhinitis is or why they experience their symptoms. It’s important to educate patients about allergic rhinitis so they can better understand how to live with it.

Of course you know what an allergy is, and why they occur, but do your patients? Explain to them that an allergy results from an overreactive immune system defending itself against noninfectious environmental allergens.1

Some patients may want to know: “what causes my allergies?” Unfortunately, everyone’s allergies are different so there is no all-encompassing answer, but you can tell them the common allergens to consider, such as pollen, dust mites, mold, or pet dander.2 Explain that allergens might be in places patients wouldn’t consider, like a dirty pillow or carpeting.

The symptoms of sinusitis or common cold often get confused with the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, so teach your patients how to recognize the differences: yellow discharge, fever, and/or body aches are symptoms of sinusitis or colds, not allergic rhinitis.3,4

The first-line defense against allergic rhinitis is often allergen avoidance.5 Unfortunately, this isn’t always the most realistic option and there isn’t any region in the country that is better than another when it comes to allergens.6 But there’s hope! Intranasal corticosteroids are the most efficient anti-inflammatory medical treatment available for allergic rhinitis.

Intranasal corticosteroids are among the first choice for patients with persistent mild, moderate or severe symptoms of allergic rhinitis because they work to block multiple mediators in the allergic cascade.5,8-10 And, they’re highly praised: The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) recognizes intranasal corticosteroids as the most effective long-term treatment for allergic rhinitis.11 Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) states that topical steroids such as mometasone furoate and fluticasone propionate are the most highly recommended.12,13

References

1. Galli S, Tsai M, Pilponsky A. The development of allergic inflammation. Nature.2008;454(7203):445-454. 2. Dykewicz M, Fineman S. Executive summary of joint task force practice parameters on diagnosis and management of rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol.1998;81:463-468. 3. Allergic rhinitis and sinusitis. World Health Organization Website. http://www.who.int/respiratory/other/rhinitis_sinusitis/en/#. Accessed April 23, 2014. 4.Flu/cold or allergies? Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America Website. https://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=19&cont=481. Accessed April 23, 2014. 5.Small P, Kim H. Allergic rhinitis. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2011;7(suppl 1):S3. 6. Which City Is the Worst for Spring Allergies? Weather.com Website. https://weather.com/health/news/worst-spring-allergy-cities. Accessed August 6, 2016. 7.World Allergy Organization. World Allergy Organization (WAO) White Book on Allergy.Milwaukee, WI: World Allergy Organization; 2011. 22. Hallgren J, Pejler Gunnar. Biology of mast cell tryptase an inflammatory mediator. FEBS Journal. 2006;(273):1871–1895. 8.Derendorf H, Meltzer EO. Molecular and clinical pharmacology of intranasal corticosteroids: clinical and therapeutic implications. Allergy. 2008;63(1):1292-1300. 9. Hallgren J, Pejler Gunnar. Biology of mast cell tryptase an inflammatory mediator. FEBS Journal. 2006;(273):1871–1895. 10. Broide D. The pathophysiology of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. AllergyAsthma Proc. 2007;28:398–403. 11. Wallace DV, Dykewicz MS, Bernstein Dl, et al. The diagnosis and management of rhinitis: an updated practice parameter. J Allergy Clin lmmunol.2008; 122(2 suppl):S 1-884. 12. Bousquet J, Khaltaev N, Cruz AA, et al. ARIA (allergic rhinitis and its impact on asthma) 2008 update. 2008:1-195. 13. Shinkwin CA. Guidelines in the management of allergic rhinitis. Bon Secours GP Study Dat. January 28, 2012.

Why OTC—By the Numbers

There are many treatment options out there these days, but OTC medicines may offer more advantages for your patients than prescriptions.

Did you know that more than 240 million Americans use OTC medicines every year?1

In fact, consumers embark on 2.9 billion visits a year to 750,000 retail outlets across the country that sell OTC products (for perspective, there are only 54,000 pharmacies in the US).2

So why is that? For one, OTC treatments may be more affordable. Most US adults (85%) believe that responsible OTC medication use lowers their healthcare costs, and they’re right! An average US household spends $338 per year on OTC medication, which is far less than the overall cost of obtaining a prescription medicine.2

In addition to cost, patients feel that they can trust an OTC medicine. When a prescription medicine transitions to OTC, there is a rigorous process that includes proof of a wide safety margin, clear labeling, and proof of effective results—all of which can take up to a year or more.3-5

Even beyond patients, OTC medicines provide $102 billion in value to the US healthcare system, saving $7 billion in clinical office visits and another $25 billion in prescription costs. 2

The US healthcare system saves between $6 and $7 for each dollar spent on OTC medicines.2 Additionally, using OTC products keeps patients out of hospitals and other care centers—if OTC medicine wasn’t available, an additional 56,000 full-time medical professionals would be needed to handle a surge of patients seeking prescription medicine.6

But how does this all relate to allergies? Well, 30 to 60 million people in the United States have allergic rhinitis,7 and of those, 75% of consumers use OTC medications for allergy relief before seeing a healthcare professional. Specifically, 90% of surveyed consumers readily or occasionally use OTC allergy medicine to treat symptoms.8

But the market for OTC medicines to treat allergies is crowded, and it can be difficult for patients to decide which one is best. Inform patients that intranasal corticosteroids are the most efficient anti-inflammatory medical treatment available for allergic rhinitis.9 The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) recognizes intranasal corticosteroids as the most effective long-term treatment for allergic rhinitis.10 And out of these, Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) states that topical steroids like fluticasone propionate (the active ingredient in FLONASE® Allergy Relief) are the most highly recommended.11,12

References

1. Importance of Self Care. Consumer Healthcare Products Association Website. http://www.chpa.org/OTCvalue.aspx. Accessed August 22, 2016. 2. Statistics on OTC Use. Consumer Healthcare Products Association Website. http://www.chpa.org/marketstats.aspx. Accessed August 22, 2016. 3. OTC Research. Consumer Healthcare Products Association Website. http://www.chpa.org/OTCresearch.aspx. Accessed August 22, 2016. 4. RX-to-OTC-switch. Consumer Healthcare Products Association Website. http://www.chpa.org/switch.aspx. Accessed August 22, 2016. 5. Overview of Label Development. GlaxoSmithKline. 6. The Value of OTC Medicine to the United States – January 2012. Consumer Healthcare Products Association. 7. Intranasal Corticosteroids: Understanding OTC Options. Pharmacy Times Website. http://pharmacytimes.com/publications/issue/2015/april2015/rd362_april2015. Accessed August 22, 2016. 8. Understanding Trust in OTC Medicines: Consumer and Healthcare Provider Prspectives. Consumer Healthcare Products Association. March 6, 2013. 9.World Allergy Organization. World Allergy Organization (WAO) White Book on Allergy.Milwaukee, WI: World Allergy Organization; 2011. 10. Wallace DV, Dykewicz MS, Bernstein Dl, et al. The diagnosis and management of rhinitis: an updated practice parameter. J Allergy Clin lmmunol. 2008; 122(2 suppl):S 1-884. 11. Bousquet J, Khaltaev N, Cruz AA, et al. ARIA (allergic rhinitis and its impact on asthma) 2008 update. 2008:1-195. 12. Shinkwin CA. Guidelines in the management of allergic rhinitis. Bon Secours GP Study Dat. January 28, 2012.

FLONASE® Brand Family

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