New treatments target allergies with dry nasal spray

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 28 at 5:33 PM

DALLAS -- Budding trees and blooming flowers are bad news for spring allergy sufferers.

Michael Whidden jokes about moving to an island to escape what bothers him.

"There's no mold in Fiji," Whidden said. 

Whidden is trying a new nasal spray to deal with his allergies.

Unlike the current wet sprays on the market, which can result in an uncomfortable nasal drip, dry nasal sprays use an aerosolized powder. The medicine is basically the same.

 "So they work the same," Texas Health Dallas Dr. Gary Gross said. "The difference is that they come out as an aerosol, rather than a spray."

Gross is an allergist who conducted clinical trials for both products: Zetonna and Qnasl. He is a paid member on each company's advisory boards. In clinical trials, the most common side effects of dry sprays were nosebleed, nasal discomfort and headache.

 He said dry nasal sprays simply offer a different option. 

 "We've had patients in the past who said, 'I won't use a nose spray and it's because I don't like the wet,'" Gross said. "They will use these."

 After trying it, Michael Whidden said he prefers the dry spray.

 "Just the burst of air is much much stronger than what I'm taking," he said. "So I guess psychologically makes me think it's going to work a heck of a lot better."

 Experts said the products are about as effective as current nasal sprays. Since being FDA approved in 2012, insurance companies have begun covering them, so costs are similar.

 

Email jstjames@wfaa.com

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