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Table. Overview of efficacy of allergic rhinitis medicines for specific symptoms

Route of administration

Pharmacological class


Itching and sneezing Rhinorrhoea Nasal congestion Ocular symptoms


INCS    ✔    ✔    ✔    ✔
Intranasal antihistamines    ✔      ✔    ✔
Intranasal cromolyn sodium    ✔      
Intranasal ipratropium bromide      ✔    


Oral antihistamines    ✔      *    ✔
Montelukast    *    *    *    *


Antihistamine eye drops          ✔
Mast cell stabiliser eye drops          ✔

INCS: intranasal corticosteroids

* Small benefit demonstrated


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Brożek JL, Bousquet J, Baena-Cagnani CE et al. Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) guidelines: 2010 revision. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010; 126: 466-76. Available from:

Hong J, Bielory B, Rosenberg JL, Bielory L. Efficacy of intranasal corticosteroids for the ocular symptoms of allergic rhinitis: A systematic review. Allergy Asthma Proc 2011; 32: 22-35. Available from:

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