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P07 - Treatment load in the therapy management of allergic rhinitis: a UK retrospective database study

  • Victoria Carter1,
  • David Price2,
  • Glenis Scadding3,
  • Shuaib Nasser4,
  • Claus Bachert5,
  • Hesham Saleh6,
  • Julian Maitland7,
  • Julie von Ziegenweidt8 and
  • Dermot Ryan9
Clinical and Translational Allergy20144(Suppl 1):P62

Published: 28 February 2014


Allergic RhinitisAllergic RhinitisSymptom ReliefSeasonal Allergic RhinitisPerennial Allergic Rhinitis


Allergic rhinitis (AR) is poorly controlled. Treated patients, even those on multiple therapies still experience symptoms. In a UK survey, 70.5% of moderate-to-severe AR patients took ≥2 medications (either Rx or over the counter) in an attempt to achieve better and faster symptom relief.


To explore the extent of co-prescribing by UK general practitioners (GPs) during the hay-fever season in patients with seasonal AR (SAR), perennial AR (PAR), and comorbid asthma.


A retrospective database study using the Optimum Patient Care Research Database consisting of data extracted from GP records supplemented with patient-reported outcomes from questionnaires. Patients included in the analysis had a recorded AR diagnosis and ≥1 AR therapy scripts during 1st March 2010 to 31st Augu37st 2010.


In all, 22,381 AR patients were included. Results are summarized in the table.

Table 1

1st March 2010 to 31st August 2010


SAR (n=16187)

PAR (n=6194)

Therapy, n (%)

Season Start

Season End

Season Start

Season End

Single therapy

10776 (65.5)

8850 (54.7)

4764 (76.9)

2974 (48.0)

Dual therapy

3782 (23.4)

5213 (32.2)

1172 (18.9)

2445 (39.5)

Triple therapy

1615 (10.0)

2062 (12.7)

244 (3.9)

694 (11.2)

Quadruple therapy

24 (0.1)

62 (0.4)

14 (0.2)

77 (1.2)

5 therapies

0 (0.0)

0 (0.0)

0 (0.0)

4 (0.1)

Total on combinations

5421 (33.5)

7337 (45.3)

1430 (23.0)

3220 (52.0)

Season End, n (%)

Asthma (n=8787)

Non Asthma (n=13594)






Combination therapy

Start of season

End of season

1536 (24.6)

2296 (41.6)

780 (23.9)

1805 (55.2)

3885 (36.4)

5041 (47.2)

650 (22.2)

1415 (48.4)


In contrast to previous surveys, these data relate to prescriptions only and show a high level of co-prescribing behavior among UK GPs. There was a significant shift to combination therapy during the season, particularly for PAR patients, with strong co-prescription evident regardless of asthma co-morbidity. These data indicate that (i) UK GPs are aware that current therapy provides insufficient symptom relief, (ii) that AR is a costly disease to treat requiring several GP visits over the season for therapy modification and (iii) there is a need for an AR therapy which provides more complete symptom relief.

Authors’ Affiliations

Research in Real Life, Cambridge, United Kingdom
University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
RNTNE Hospital, London, United Kingdom
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, United Kingdom
University Hospital Ghent, Ghent, Belgium
Imperial College of Medicine, London, United Kingdom
Meda Pharmaceuticals, London, United Kingdom
Research in Real Life, Norwich, United Kingdom
East Midlands Strategic Health Authority, Leicester, United Kingdom


© Carter et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. 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 work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.