(HealthDay News) — Daily intranasal corticosteroids (INCS) are not superior to on-demand INCS or to antihistamine on demand for the treatment of pollen-related allergies in children, according to a study published online Oct. 3 in Allergy.

Jorien B. Wartna, from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues randomized 150 children (aged 6 to 18 years) with pollen-related allergic rhinoconjunctivitis to receive either INCS daily (fluticasone propionate), INCS on demand (fluticasone propionate), or oral antihistamine on demand (levocetrizine) for three months during the grass pollen season. Symptoms were assessed in a daily online diary.

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The researchers found that the percentage of symptom-free days was highest, though not significantly, with INCS on demand (30 percent) versus INCS daily (22 percent). The antihistamine on-demand group had 15 percent symptom-free days. On average, patients in the INCS on-demand group used 61 percent less fluticasone than patients in the INCS daily group over the study period (P < 0.0001).

“An on-demand INCS strategy has the advantage of a lower overall corticosteroid exposure and less cost,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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