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      Efficacy of levocetirizine compared with montelukast in subjects with ragweed-induced seasonal allergic rhinitis in the Environmental Exposure Unit.

      Allergy and Asthma Proceedings

      Treatment Outcome, psychology, physiopathology, drug therapy, Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal, therapeutic use, Quinolines, Questionnaires, Quality of Life, Middle Aged, Male, Leukotriene Antagonists, Humans, Histamine H1 Antagonists, Non-Sedating, Female, adverse effects, Environmental Exposure, Environment, Controlled, Cetirizine, Ambrosia, Adult, Acetates

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          Levocetirizine dihydrochloride, a potent H1-receptor antagonist, and montelukast sodium, a selective leukotriene receptor antagonist, have been approved for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR), but target two different pathways that cause SAR symptoms. The study objective was to compare the efficacy of levocetirizine (LCTZ), 5 mg, and montelukast (MLKT), 10 mg, in reducing SAR symptoms in ragweed-sensitive adults exposed to ragweed pollen in the Environmental Exposure Unit (EEU). This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of 418 adult subjects with SAR to ragweed compared the efficacy of LCTZ, MLKT, and placebo administered once daily (11:00 A.M.) for 2 consecutive days in the EEU. There were three evaluation periods: period I, 0-5 hours after first dose; period II, 22.5-24 hours after first dose; and period III, 0-4.5 hours after second dose. The primary efficacy variable was the Major Symptom Complex (MSC) score (six symptoms) over period I. Both active drugs significantly improved the MSC score compared with placebo in all periods. The adjusted mean MSC score difference between LCTZ and MLKT was -0.93 (p = 0.100) in period I, -3.11 (p < 0.001) in period II, -2.42 (p < 0.001) in period III, and -1.88 (p < 0.001) over the total treatment period. The same trends were observed for the Total Symptom Complex score (10 symptoms) and most individual symptoms. Subject-reported global satisfaction was greater for LCTZ compared with MLKT and placebo. All treatments had a favorable safety profile. LCTZ, 5 mg, was more effective than MLKT, 10 mg, in subjects with SAR and had better subject-reported global satisfaction.

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