June 1st 2003
Seasonal allergic rhinitis is a disease characterized by sneezing, nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, and itching, conventionally treated with intranasal corticosteroids and antihistamines. The leukotriene receptor antagonist montelukast (Singulair, Merck) recently gained FDA approval for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. While studies have shown the efficacy of montelukast in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis, there are no published clinical efficacy trials to date to support the use of montelukast alone or in combination with antihistamines as a superior therapy to intranasal corticosteroids in the management of seasonal allergic rhinitis. When combined with current economic considerations, the primary role of montelukast appears to be as an adjunct agent in patients whose seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms cannot be controlled with intranasal corticosteroids or nonsedating antihistamines alone.