Aqueous beclomethasone dipropionate in the treatment of ragweed pollen-induced rhinitis: Further exploration of “as needed” use
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BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to compare regular and "as required" (prn) use of aqueous beclomethasone dipropionate nasal spray (Beconase AQ nasal spray) in the treatment of ragweed pollen-induced rhinitis and to examine possible predictors of unsatisfactory symptom control in the group of patients who used it on a prn basis. METHODS: Sixty adults with ragweed pollen-induced rhinitis, who had participated in previous hay fever studies or who responded to media notices, were enrolled in the study. The study design was a randomized, unblinded, parallel group comparison between regular use (400 micrograms daily) and prn use of Beconase AQ spray during the 6 weeks of the ragweed pollen season. Patients recorded daily symptoms and medication use in diaries. The Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire was administered, and patient satisfaction with symptom control was assessed at clinic visits. RESULTS: Symptoms and quality of life tended to be better in the regular group, but differences were not statistically significant. Twenty-seven percent of patients in the prn group reported unsatisfactory control of symptoms; they experienced significantly worse symptoms and quality of life than the remainder of the prn group and used significantly more Beconase. No obvious predictors of unsatisfactory control were identified. Patients who achieved satisfactory control in the prn group had symptom and quality of life scores that were very similar to those of the regular group. CONCLUSIONS: Most patients can use Beconase AQ as needed successfully for the treatment of hay fever, but there may be an apparently unpredictable minority who do not achieve satisfactory symptom control or quality of life with this approach and who require regular treatment.
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