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# Safety Concerns of Nasal Corticosteroids Usage in Patients With Allergic Rhinitis

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Cureus

Cureus

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### Abstract

Background

Intranasal corticosteroids (INCSs) are the first-line treatment for patients with moderate to severe conditions of allergic rhinitis (AR) as per current guidelines. However, patients' knowledge and practice towards the safety of such medications remains ambiguous. Therefore, this study was undertaken to identify the awareness of and knowledge about the safety of nasal corticosteroid usage in patients with allergic rhinitis as well as their adherence to taking the medication.

Materials and methods

We conducted a cross-sectional study from June to September 2020 at Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University Medical Center, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Data were collected through questionnaire-based surveys, and a total of 375 patients were enrolled in the study. The eligibility criteria included all adult patients diagnosed with allergic rhinitis.

Results

Most of the patients had used intranasal corticosteroids. However, only two-fifths of patients stated these medications were effective and only 27% thought they were safe to use. More than half of the patients expressed concerns about using intranasal corticosteroids; however, there was no difference among the patients when asked if their concerns made them discontinue their medication. The majority of patients (73.3%) did not receive appropriate advice on how to use intranasal corticosteroids, but most were compliant with the therapy regardless of their uncertainty about the medication’s safety (71.5%). Most patients reported a benefit of using intranasal corticosteroids (71.5%). Half of the patients (53.9%) reported being aware of a special technique for how to use a nasal spray, but the nonsmokers were more knowledgeable about the techniques than the smokers (p = 0.007).

Conclusion

The patients' knowledge about, adherence to, and perceptions of intranasal corticosteroid use were found to be suboptimal. Patients’ age, gender, socioeconomic status, education level, and smoking status were recognized as potential barriers to a positive perception of and adherence to the treatment plan. Corrective measures are needed to ensure better health outcomes.

### Most cited references27

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### Burden of allergic rhinitis: results from the Pediatric Allergies in America survey.

(2009)
Allergic rhinitis (AR), a chronic inflammatory disease of the upper airway, is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States and is estimated to affect up to 60 million people. Pediatric Allergies in America is the largest and most comprehensive survey to date of pediatric patients and parents of patients with allergy, as well as health care providers (HCPs), regarding AR in children and its treatment. The goals of the survey were to determine the prevalence of AR in the US pediatric population and to collect information on what effect the condition has on patients in terms of symptom burden, quality of life, productivity, disease management, and pharmacologic treatment. This national survey screened 35,757 households to identify 500 children with HCP-diagnosed nasal allergies and 504 children without nasal allergies who were between the ages of 4 and 17 years. Parents of young children, as well as children 10 to 17 years of age, were questioned about the condition and its treatment. In parallel, 501 HCPs were interviewed. This survey has captured previously unavailable data on the prevalence of nasal allergies and their most common and most bothersome symptoms, on the effect of nasal allergies on the quality of life of children, and on medication use, including both over-the-counter and prescription medications, and has identified factors affecting satisfaction with treatment. The Pediatric Allergies in America survey also identifies distinct areas for improvement in the management of AR in children. In fact, based on the results of this survey, it appears that HCPs overestimate patients' and parents' satisfaction with disease management and the benefit of medications used for the treatment of nasal allergies in children. Findings from this national survey have identified important challenges to the management of AR, suggesting that its burden on children in the United States has been significantly underestimated.
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### Clinical practice guideline: Allergic rhinitis.

(2015)
Allergic rhinitis (AR) is one of the most common diseases affecting adults. It is the most common chronic disease in children in the United States today and the fifth most common chronic disease in the United States overall. AR is estimated to affect nearly 1 in every 6 Americans and generates $2 to$5 billion in direct health expenditures annually. It can impair quality of life and, through loss of work and school attendance, is responsible for as much as $2 to$4 billion in lost productivity annually. Not surprisingly, myriad diagnostic tests and treatments are used in managing this disorder, yet there is considerable variation in their use. This clinical practice guideline was undertaken to optimize the care of patients with AR by addressing quality improvement opportunities through an evaluation of the available evidence and an assessment of the harm-benefit balance of various diagnostic and management options.
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### The burden of allergic rhinitis.

(2015)
Although formerly regarded as a nuisance disease, allergic rhinitis (AR) has a considerable effect on quality of life and can have significant consequences if left untreated. The total burden of this disease lies not only in impaired physical and social functioning but also in a financial burden made greater when considering evidence that AR is a possible causal factor in comorbid diseases such as asthma or sinusitis. Compared with matched controls, patients with AR have an approximate twofold increase in medication costs and 1.8-fold the number of visits to health practitioners. Hidden direct costs include the treatment of comorbid asthma, chronic sinusitis, otitis media, upper respiratory infection, and nasal polyposis. Nasal congestion, the most prominent symptom in AR, is associated with sleep-disordered breathing, a condition that can have a profound effect on mental health, including increased psychiatric disorders, depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse. Furthermore, sleep-disordered breathing in childhood and adolescence is associated with increased disorders of learning performance, behavior, and attention. In the United States, AR results in 3.5 million lost workdays and 2 million lost schooldays annually. Patients struggle to alleviate their misery, frequently self-adjusting their treatment regimen of over-the-counter and prescription medications because of lack of efficacy, deterioration of efficacy, lack of 24-hour relief, and bothersome side effects. Ironically, health care providers overestimate patient satisfaction with therapy. Therefore, improvement in patient-practitioner communication may enhance patient adherence with prescribed regimens.
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### Author and article information

###### Journal
Cureus
Cureus
2168-8184
Cureus
Cureus (Palo Alto (CA) )
2168-8184
23 November 2020
November 2020
: 12
: 11
###### Article
10.7759/cureus.11651
7686935

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

###### Categories
Otolaryngology
Allergy/Immunology