Therapeutic index (TIX) for intranasal corticosteroids in the treatment of allergic rhinitis

T. Schäfer*, M. Schnoor, M. Wagenmann, L. Klimek, C. Bachert

*Corresponding author for this work
24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Intranasal corticosteroids (INS) are the first line treatment for allergic rhinitis (AR). To guide clinical decision-making, we created a therapeutic index (TIX) for INS reflecting efficacy and safety. Methods: A Medline search (1966 to June 2009) was carried out to identify all placebo-controlled randomized trials, and observational reports for safety issues, with Dexamethasone, Budesonide (BUD), Fluticasone propionate (FP), Fluticasone furoate (FF), Flunisolide, Mometasone furoate (MF), Triamcinolone (TRIAM), and Beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) as treatment for AR. Data on three efficacy (nasal symptoms, ocular symptoms, global assessment) and three safety outcomes (epistaxis, growth, systemic ocular effects) were extracted. Meta analyses were performed for each INS and outcome and results were categorised into scores by quartiles. Scores of the three efficacy and safety outcomes were summed up to create summation scores for efficacy (ES) and side effects (AES), respectively with a maximum of 9 points. The TIX was then defined as the ratio of ES and AES. Results: Data of 84 studies were extracted. Based on availability of data, a TIX was calculated for 6 substances. BUD showed the highest efficacy score followed by MF and TRIAM. The lowest scores for side effects were achieved by MF and TRIAM followed by FP. These findings resulted in TIX scores of 7 and 5 for MF and TRIAM, respectively, indicating a high efficacy and low potential of adverse events. Medium scores were reached by BUD and FP and lower scores by BDP and FF. Conclusion: Although safety and efficacy is proven for all available INS by multiple studies, the systematic aggregation and analysis of data allows for a differentiated summary on clinically important features.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 08.2011


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