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Original Article


Effects of Fexofenadine on Inflammatory Mediators in Nasal Lavage Fluid in Intermittent Allergic Rhinitis


C Schäper,1 B Gustavus,2 B Koch,1 R Ewert,1 G Hanf,2 G Kunkel,2 O Noga,2 S Gläser1

1 Division of Cardiology and Pneumology, Universität Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany
2 Department of Pneumology and Infectious Diseases, Charité-Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2009; Vol. 19(6): 459-464



Objective: Allergic rhinitis, a disease that impairs quality of life, is characterized by inflammation due to an allergic reaction. Fexofenadineis a second-generation histamine receptor blocker well known for its potent interaction with this inflammatory process. The main aim of this study was to further clarify the anti-inflammatory effects exerted by fexofenadine in patients with intermittent allergic rhinitis.

Methods: Twenty patients with intermittent allergic rhinitis due to birch and mugwort pollen were enrolled. Fexofenadine was administered once a day at a dose of 120 mg. Clinical improvement was assessed by a symptom score, and nasal airway flows were measured by anterior rhinomanometry at baseline and after 2 weeks of treatment with fexofenadine. Nasal smears were tested for eosinophils and nasal lavage fluid were examined for histamine, cysteinyl leukotrienes, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, eosinophil cationic protein, and albumin by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. All the tests were performed during the pollen season.

Results: Fexofenadine induced a significant improvement in nasal and ocular symptoms (P<.001), nasal edema and secretion (P<.001), and nasal airway flow (P<.001). The clinical improvement was related to a significant reduction in all inflammatory mediators (P<.01 in all cases).

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that fexofenadine is able to mediate significant changes in different nasal lavage markers from patients with intermittent allergic rhinitis. The changes observed in the markers analyzed in both nasal secretions and serum are attributable to the anti-inflammatory effects of fexofenadine in vivo.

Key words: Fexofenadine. Intermittent allergic rhinitis. Inflammation.