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Original Article


Beneficial Effects of Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists in the Prevention of Cedar Pollinosis in a Community Setting


S Yonekura,1 Y Okamoto,1 K Okubo,2 T Okawa,1 M Gotoh,3 H Suzuki,4 T Kakuma,5 S Horiguchi,1 T Hanazawa,1 A Konno,6 M Okuda2,7

1Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
2Department of Otolaryngology, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan
3Department of Otolaryngology, Nippon Medical School, Chiba Hokusoh Hospital, Chiba, Japan
4Department of Pharmacology, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan
5Biostatistics Center, Medical School, Kurume University, Fukuoka, Japan
6Otolaryngology Unit, South Tohoku General Hospital, Fukushima, Japan
7Japan Allergy Asthma Clinic, Tokyo, Japan

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2009; Vol. 19(3): 195-203



Background: In recent years, many countries have experienced an increase in the prevalence of allergic rhinitis. No effective approach is currently available to prevent the onset of symptoms in allergic individuals. Pranlukast, a leukotriene receptor antagonist with a good safety and efficacy record for the management of allergic inflammation, may be appropriate for early intervention in the management of pollinosis.

Objective: To investigate the efficacy of pranlukast as an early intervention in the control of cedar pollinosis.

Methods: In a double-blind comparative study, pranlukast (n=102) or placebo (n=91) was administered to cedar pollinosis patients immediately before the start of the dispersion season and continued for 4 weeks. Subsequently, pranlukast was administered to all patients for 2 weeks until the end of the cedar pollen dispersion season (mid-March). All patients were carefully monitored for severity of nasal symptoms, symptom scores, medication scores, symptom-medication scores, and quality of life (QOL).

Results: Compared with placebo, therapy with pranlukast before and during the dispersion of cedar pollen in these patients significantly improved nasal symptoms (paroxysmal sneezing, rhinorrhea, and nasal congestion), symptom scores, and symptom-medication scores. The drug also significantly reduced deterioration of QOL, and improved nasal symptoms and QOL throughout the dispersion period.

Conclusion: Administering pranlukast immediately before the beginning of cedar pollen dispersion is effective in reducing symptoms of allergic rhinitis throughout the dispersion period.

Key words: Allergic rhinitis. Cedar pollinosis. Early intervention. Leukotriene receptor antagonist.