Antihistamine and probiotic therapy could treat allergic rhinitis

A study conducted by the Chung Shan Medical University Hospital in Taichung, Taiwan, has found that supplementing the antihistamine ‘levocetirizine’ together with the probiotic ‘Lactobacillus johnsonii EM1 (Lj EM1), helped to lessen the symptoms of perennial allergic rhinitis. Antihistamines are a particular group of medicines that aid in alleviating the problems caused by a number of other conditions as well as allergic rhinitis, such as hay fever, eczema, and allergic conjunctivitis.

The Taiwanese study involved the tracking of 63 schoolchildren for a 1 year period. The subjects were aged between 7 and 12 years old, and all were suffering from moderate to severe perennial allergic rhinitis. The study has been published in the July issue of the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, and was carried out by conducting a 2-phase crossover trial that compared how effective levocetirizine was by itself, against the use of the anhistamine together with the probiotic Lj EM1.

All children were chosen at random to receive either just the antihistamine, or that supplemented with the probiotic. After 12 weeks of being on a particular course of treatment, every child was switched over to the other one and were again monitored for a 12-week time period.

Daily activity diaries were kept for each child and a ‘total symptom score’ was adopted to assess the 4 nasal and 5 nonnasal symptoms for the children each day, working on a 4-point scale from 0 to 3, with 0 being no symptoms and 3 being most severe. The TSS was the combined count of all 9 symptoms. How well each child slept every night was also noted, again scoring from 0 to 3.

In the first 12-week period, a TSS improvement was evident in both groups after 4, 8 and 12 weeks. Interestingly though however, a more effective response was seen in the children who were taking both the antihistamine and probiotic at weeks 4, 8 and 12. Those just taking antihistamines were said to have shown improvement ‘continually and progressively’ in the second 12-week stage of the study, whereas the others did not.

Researchers have now come to the conclusion that probiotics may be effective for treating early-stage allergic disease through an alteration of the inflammatory response and immunity. It is still unclear yet if probiotics can help allergic airway diseases such as asthma and hay fever, and experts have called for more studies on this.

One effective treatment for allergic rhinitis is Nasonex nasal spray. Available with or without a prescription, Nasonex is a medication used to help with congestion, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, and nasal itching due to allergies. It is also prescribed for nasal polyps (small, non-cancerous growths on the lining inside the nose). Prices of this medication are from as little as £9.98 per pack.

We also have a massive range of asthma inhalers, such as Ventolin Evohaler, which we sell cheaper than the NHS. If you have already been prescribed an inhaler, have lost your inhaler, or run out and cannot get a prescription immediately, we are able to supply you an inhaler to help your asthma symptoms. We offer both blue (relievers) inhalers such as Ventolin and Salbutamol, and brown (preventers) inhalers such as Qvar Beclomethasone, Qvar Easi-Breathe and Pulvinal Beclomethasone. We are constantly looking to increase our vast range of products and treatments, and recently expanded our chemist shop to include Prevalin allergy nasal spray, Prevalin allergy kids nasal spray and Alomide allergy eye drops, which can all help to ease the symptoms of hay fever.

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