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Analyses of data from two hybrid environmental studies evaluating 0.2% olopatadine HCl ophthalmic solution QD for the treatment of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis or rhinoconjunctivitis show that patients derive improvement in the frequency or severity of their nasal symptoms as a simultaneous benefit with relief of ocular allergy.
The two trials, a spring study with a 10-week duration and the other conducted over 12 weeks in the fall allergy season, had a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-masked design with a combined enrollment of 500 patients.
Tracking nasal symptoms
The use of any other topical ocular medications or new systemic medications was not allowed. More than 90% of enrolled patients had a history of rhinoconjunctivitis.
Frequency of sneezing and runny nose were significantly lower in the spring study among patients using QD olopatadine 0.2% compared with controls. In the spring study, the frequency of runny nose, as well as the severity of sneezing, itchy nose, and runny nose, all were significantly lower in the olopatidine-treated patients.
There was a marginally non-significant difference in the frequency of runny nose favoring the olopatadine group, reported Dr. Abelson, who is lead author of the published study results [Curr Med Res Opin 2005;21:5:683-691], associate clinical professor of ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, and senior clinical scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston.
"These two environmental studies of [QD] olopatadine 0.2% were designed primarily to investigate the safety and efficacy of olopatadine in treating ocular signs and symptoms in patients with allergic conjunctivitis or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and not to assess its effects on nasal symptoms," he said.
"However, they were well-designed, rigorously conducted clinical trials representing a large population of patients primarily with rhinoconjunctivitis from across the nation and treated during two distinct allergy seasons," Dr. Abelson said.