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Omnaris for Allergic Rhintis

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Updated May 20, 2008

Omnaris for Allergic Rhintis

Omnaris is a new nasal steroid approved for the treatment of allergic rhinitis.

Daniel More, MD
Updated May 20, 2008
Omnaris (ciclesonide) is a new nasal steroid that has recently become available for the treatment of allergies. Omnaris joins many other nasal steroids available for the treatment of allergic rhinitis, including Flonase (fluticasone propinoate), Nasonex (mometasone), Veramyst (fluticasone furoate), Rhinocort (budesonide), Nasacort (triamcinolone) and others. You may be wondering, with all those drugs, do we need yet another nasal steroid? In my opinion, any new nasal steroid needs to establish a niche that separates it from the rest of the pack.

How Omnaris Is Different

Omnaris is a pro-drug that is metabolized to its active form in the nasal mucosa. This means that it is delivered to the nose in an inactive form, and turned into an active drug by enzymes within the nose. Before it is activated by these enzymes, it has little to no steroid side effects prior to its activation within the nose. Therefore, Omnaris has no known whole-body steroid effects, including no increased risk for glaucoma, cataract formation, or Cushing's syndrome.

Omnaris also comes in a hypotonic solution (lower salt concentration that in human blood), which keeps the medication in the nose longer, and is less likely to drain in the throat. Unlike many other nasal steroids, it doesn’t contain benzalkonium chloride as a preservative. This preservative is known to cause side effects within the nose, such as a decrease in the mucociliary transport within the nose (the nose’s “self-cleaning” feature), irritation of the lining of the nose, and decreased function of infection-fighting white blood cells within the nose. Instead of benzalkonium chloride, Omnaris contains potassium sorbate as a preservative.

Omnaris Still Has Some Side Effects

But don’t be fooled – Omnaris still has side effects, the most common being nose bleeds, irritation of the nose and throat, as well as headache. However, these side effects were not significantly higher with Omnaris when compared to placebo (fake medicine) in various studies.

Will Omnaris be a better nasal steroid than others already on the market? Time will tell. In the meantime, nasal steroids represent the single best medication for the treatment of allergic rhinitis.

Learn the appropriate way to administer a nasal spray.

Sources:

Ratner PH, Wingertzahn MA, van Bazel JH, Hampel F, Darken PF, Shah T. Efficacy and Safety of Ciclesonide Nasal Spray for the Treatment of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006; 118:1142-8.

Meltzer EO, Kunjibettu S, Hall N, Wingertzahn MA, Murcia C, Berger W, LaForce C. Efficacy and Safety of Ciclesonide, 200 mcg Once Daily, for the Treatment of Perennial Allergic Rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2007; 98:175-181.

Chervinsky P, Kunjibettu S, Miller DL, Prenner BM, Raphael G, Hall M, Shah T. Long-term Safety amd Efficacy of Intranasal Ciclesonide in Adult and Adolescent Patients with Perennial Allergic Rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2007; 99:69-76.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this site is for educational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for personal care by a licensed physician. Please see your physician for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition.

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