Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Systematic Review of Antileukotrienes

A systematic review of antileukotriene therapy in seasonal allergic rhinitis has been published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and reported by the British Medical Journal in BMJUpdates.

As previously suggested, in patients with asthma and seasonal allergic rhinitis, the asthma symptoms should be the prime concern. Clinical Evidence has also rated this class of drugs as likely to be beneficial.

This systematic review found that antileukotriene therapy was superior to placebo, equivalent to antihistamines and inferior to intranasal corticosteroids. It also found that the combination of antileukotriene therapy with antihistamines was superior to antihistamines alone but still inferior to intranasal corticosteroids.

Action: Antileukotriene therapy is equivalent or inferior to current treatment options for seasonal allergic rhinitis. These drugs also have a higher acquisition cost and are the least cost-effective option. They should be reserved for when all current treatment strategies have failed.

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