Optimising the management of allergic rhinitis: an Australian perspective

Ronald S Walls, Robert J Heddle, Mimi L K Tang, Ben J Basger, Graham O Solley and Guan T Yeo
Med J Aust 2005; 182 (1): 28-33.


  • Allergic rhinitis (AR) is one of the most prevalent medical conditions. It has significant effects on quality of life and can have considerable socioeconomic effects.

  • The traditional classification of perennial and seasonal rhinitis does not distinguish between provoking factors, nor does it indicate the most appropriate treatment. A more useful classification is based on symptoms, which may be intermittent or persistent, and vary widely in severity.

  • The goal of management is to achieve optimal symptom control. Therapeutic options include allergen avoidance, pharmacotherapy and immunotherapy.

  • Antihistamines and intranasal corticosteroids (INCS) have become the cornerstones of therapy. A variety of effective treatments are available for consumers to self-select, without the advice of a doctor or pharmacist.

  • INCS are widely recognised as the most effective pharmacotherapy for AR, in both adults and children. The efficacy of various preparations is similar, but those with low systemic bioavailability are preferred for children and for patients who are also receiving inhaled, topical or systemic corticosteroids.

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  • Ronald S Walls1
  • Robert J Heddle2
  • Mimi L K Tang3
  • Ben J Basger4
  • Graham O Solley5
  • Guan T Yeo6

  • 1 Department of Immunology and Allergy, Concord Hospital, Concord, NSW.
  • 2 Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, SA.
  • 3 Department of Immunology, Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, VIC.
  • 4 Basger’s Pharmacy, North Bondi, NSW.
  • 5 Watkins Medical Centre, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 6 Berowra Family Medical Practice, Sydney, NSW.


Competing interests:

This study was funded by an unrestricted educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The authors served as consultants on an advisory board for GSK, for which they received honoraria. GSK was not involved in the preparation of the manuscript, and approval was not sought from GSK for any of the material presented.

Assistance in preparation of the manuscript was provided by medical writers and designers employed by MediTech Media Asia Pacific Pty Ltd, who received financial support from GSK. GSK had no involvement in reviewing or approving the manuscript or its drafts.

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