Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis Result in Sleep Disturbances and Emotional Burdens for Nasal Allergy Patients

May 10, 2011

HORSHAM, Pa., May 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Teva Respiratory today announced results from the recently completed Nasal Allergy Survey Assessing Limitations (NASL) 2010, which found patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) who had nasal symptoms were more likely to experience sleep disturbances, including difficulty getting to sleep and/or waking up during the night. Lack of a good night’s sleep can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. For people living with nasal allergies in the United States, these symptoms, including post-nasal drip, repeated sneezing, nasal congestion and headache, are reportedly at their worst during the spring months, specifically April and May.

Results from NASL 2010 suggest the fatigue nasal allergy patients are experiencing may be related to sleep disruption caused by the common symptoms associated with AR. Lack of adequate sleep and increased tiredness may also lead to patients feeling ‘irritable’ and ‘miserable,’ which can contribute to other emotional and mood effects like anxiety and depression. When nasal symptoms are at their worst, patients find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, which can negatively impact their work performance by reducing productivity, resulting in both social and economic costs.

“The negative impact that allergic rhinitis symptoms can have on a patient’s quality of sleep is considerable, as it not only affects them physically, but also emotionally,” said Gary Gross, M.D. FAAAAI, Dallas Allergy & Asthma Center, Dallas, Texas. “As allergy season is upon us, it’s important for patients suffering from allergic rhinitis symptoms, like post-nasal drip, to understand how these symptoms can negatively affect their quality of life.”

Teva Respiratory recently presented findings from NASL 2010 at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) Annual Meeting in San Francisco. According to these results, less than 20 percent of patients surveyed felt their nasal allergy symptoms were completely controlled. While the vast majority of respiratory specialists and primary care providers surveyed identified intranasal corticosteroid sprays as their preferred treatment for nasal allergies, currently the only intranasal corticosteroids available for the treatment of AR are products with an aqueous or “wet” spray. Patients reported being less satisfied with current nasal sprays when they experienced discomfort from the spray or when they felt the medication drip down the back of their throat. Healthcare providers and specialists also reported patient dissatisfaction with current nasal sprays due to the bothersome side effects associated with these treatments.

“NASL 2010 shows us that patients continue to experience the symptoms of AR, despite currently available treatment options, which impacts their quality of life as these ‘wet’ sprays often cause bothersome side effects,” continued Dr. Gross. “These results reinforce the need for alternative treatments to help alleviate these symptoms and overall disease burden of allergic rhinitis.”

During National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, several advocacy and government organizations across the nation will join together to increase public awareness of allergic conditions, including AR. Although AR is a widespread condition affecting an estimated 60 million people in the United States, current perspectives relating to the common symptoms and overall disease burden have been lacking. NASL 2010 provides a recent assessment of patient and healthcare provider perspectives concerning AR. To learn more, visit www.naslsurvey.com and download the full executive summary of results.

About The Nasal Allergy Survey Assessing Limitations (NASL) 2010

The Nasal Allergy Survey Assessing Limitations (NASL) provides a current assessment of patient and healthcare provider perspectives concerning allergic rhinitis. A national sample of 400 people aged 18 and older, who had been diagnosed with allergic rhinitis, nasal allergies or hay fever, and who had experienced nasal allergy symptoms or taken medication for their condition in the past 12 months, were interviewed as part of this study. This national sample of adults with current nasal allergies was interviewed by telephone during May and June 2010 about their condition and treatment. In order to determine the burden of disease of allergic rhinitis, a parallel telephone survey was conducted among a national probability sample of 522 adults sampled by random digit dialing. This survey of the general adult population of the U.S. yielded a subsample of 400 persons aged 18 and older who did not have current nasal allergies. The comparison of the two samples of adults with and without nasal allergies provides a new measure of the impact of nasal allergies on the health and lifestyle of patients.

A third parallel survey was conducted among 250 healthcare practitioners who see patients with nasal allergies. The healthcare practitioner sample includes a national sample of 200 physicians in direct patient care in outpatient settings in the U.S., including 100 in adult primary care specialties (family practice and general internal medicine) and 100 specialists (allergy and otolaryngology). In addition, a national sample of 50 nurse practitioners and physician assistants were interviewed as part of the study.

About Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by symptoms such as sneezing, nasal itch, rhinorrhea, and nasal congestion. Based on the available evidence, intranasal corticosteroids are the most effective treatment options for patients with AR. Morbidity associated with AR can be significant. Effective treatment of AR may improve asthma control when both diseases coexist.

In the U.S., the prevalence of AR has increased during the past three decades; it is recently estimated at 20% in the general adult population and closer to 40% in children. Of the estimated 60 million Americans affected with AR, approximately 20% have SAR, 40% have PAR, and 40% have a combination of the two (i.e., PAR with seasonal exacerbation) depending on the allergen sensitivity. Because of its prevalence and health effect, AR is associated with considerable direct and indirect costs. An estimate of $11.2 billion in healthcare costs, 12 million physician office visits, 2 million days of school absences and 3.5 million lost work days per year are attributed to AR. In addition, the presence of co-morbidities such as asthma and sinusitis further increase AR-related treatment costs.

About Teva Respiratory

Teva Respiratory is the U.S.-based respiratory subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA). Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., headquartered in Israel, is a leading global pharmaceutical company and the world’s largest generic drug maker. Teva has a global product portfolio of more than 1,250 molecules and a direct presence in approximately 60 countries. The company is committed to increasing access to high quality healthcare by developing, manufacturing and marketing generic products; innovative and specialty pharmaceuticals; and active pharmaceutical ingredients.

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SOURCE Teva Respiratory

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