Therapy in the Management of the Rhinitis/Asthma Complex

Paul Allen Greenberger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Allergic rhinitis is a risk factor for the development of asthma, and, conversely, asthma often is present in patients with rhinitis (17-25% in children and 20-50% in adults). Up to 80% of patients with asthma have allergic, nonallergic, or mixed rhinitis. Gastroesophageal reflux can be identified in 25-50% of patients with asthma and may be asymptomatic. Topical nasal corticosteroids typically reduce rhinitis symptoms more effectively than oral or topically administered histamine 1 antagonists but are similar in terms of ocular symptom reduction. The leukotriene D4 antagonist montelukast, as well as loratadine (29%), has been found to reduce nasal symptoms (27%) but the combination (33%) provided little additional benefit. Subcutaneous injections with a monoclonal anti-immunoglobulin E antibody for ragweed or birch allergic rhinitis have produced few anaphylactic reactions but when reactions occur, they appear 90-120 minutes after the injection. In the patients who received 300 mg of omalizumab every 3 or 4 weeks for ragweed allergic rhinitis, there were 23% fewer mean nasal symptoms than in placebo-treated subjects. In that study, antihistamines but not nasal corticosteroids were used during the study period. Overall, 70.7% of patients reported treatment as good or excellent compared with 40.8% in placebo-treated patients. The impact of omalizumab or other anti-immunoglobulin E therapies on rhinitis and asthma is being investigated. In patients experiencing acute, purulent, rhinosinusitis, treatment with a nasal corticosteroid helps relieve symptoms sooner than antibiotic and decongestant therapy alone. Treatment of rhinitis or rhinosinusitis and gastroesophageal reflux should be part of the management of patients with asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-407
Number of pages5
JournalAllergy and Asthma Proceedings
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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