Singh Randhawa A, Mohd Noor N, Md Daud MK, Abdullah B
Front Pharmacol. 2022 Jan 10;12:731201. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2021.731201. PMID: 35082662; PMCID: PMC8784885
Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal epithelium, leading to rhinorrhoea, nasal blockage, itching and sneezing. Allergic rhinitis is the most common form of rhinitis and occurs following exposure to allergens. Bilastine is one of the non-sedating second generation H1 oral antihistamines for allergic rhinitis. The objective of this study was to review the efficacy and safety of bilastine in treating allergic rhinitis.
This review was made after an electronic literature search of bilastine-related publications of randomized controlled trials comparing bilastine with placebo and standard pharmacotherapy up to March 2021. The included studies had to have description of diagnosis of AR established by clinicians and the outcomes with a minimum of 2 weeks of follow-up period.
The primary outcomes evaluated were total symptom score (TSS), nasal symptom score (NSS) and non-nasal symptom score (NNSS). The secondary outcomes were discomfort due to rhinitis, quality of life (QoL) and adverse events. The risk of bias and quality of evidence for all studies were also taken into consideration.
There were 135 records identified on the literature search after removal of duplicates. Following screening and review, 15 full-text articles were evaluated for eligibility. Five trials involving 3,329 patients met the inclusion criteria.
From the five trials included, bilastine was superior to placebo in improving TSS, NSS, NNSS, rhinitis discomfort score and QoL but demonstrated a comparable efficacy with other oral antihistamines in TSS, NSS, NNS, rhinitis discomfort score and QoL. The only adverse event where bilastine showed difference from placebo was in somnolence, and also with fewer incidence of somnolence compared to cetirizine. The overall quality of evidence ranged from moderate to high quality.
In conclusion, bilastine is safe and effective in the treatment of overall symptoms of allergic rhinitis with comparable efficacy and safety with other antihistamines except somnolence: while bilastine has a comparable efficacy to cetirizine, somnolence is notably fewer in bilastine.