April 8, 2015, Manila, Philippines – Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and urticaria (hives) are allergic conditions that have a substantial impact on patient health and quality of life. Allergic rhinitis is frequently underdiagnosed and undertreated, while urticaria is often inappropriately managed. Although antihistamines are common first-line treatments for both conditions, significant barriers to successful outcomes remain.
Fortunately, there is good news for Filipinos suffering from these bothersome conditions. Bilastine, a second-generation antihistamine that improves patients’ quality of life by providing fast and effective symptomatic relief of allergic rhinitis and urticaria, is now available in the country.[pq]Allergic rhinitis causes cold-like signs and symptoms, such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure.[/pq]
It is caused by an allergic response to outdoor or indoor allergens, such as pollen, dust mites or pet dander.
Urticaria is a skin reaction that causes red or white itchy welts, which vary in size and appear and fade repeatedly as the reaction runs its course. While usually not life-threatening, urticaria can be very uncomfortable and interfere with sleep and daily activities.
Allergic rhinitis, which affects 600 million people worldwide, can impact both work and school productivity and is associated with other diseases including asthma, sinusitis, and sleep disorders. Acute urticaria, which affects 25% of people at least once in their lifetime, can be highly debilitating, negatively impacting sleep, mobility, and energy, as well as a person’s home, work, and social life.
The 2008 National Nutrition and Health Survey found that about 2 in 10 Filipino adults suffer allergic rhinitis, with residents of rural areas (22%) reporting a higher prevalence of nose symptoms for the past 12 months than residents of urban area (18%)
“The availability of a new antihistamine molecule that offers enhanced efficacy, safety and tolerability is welcome news to the substantial number of Filipinos who suffer from allergic rhinitis and urticaria,” said Dr. Jovilia Abong, Past President, Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (PSAAI).
Bilastine is a once-daily antihistamine tablet that is endorsed by international therapeutic guidelines and has the ideal combination of high efficacy and good safety and tolerability profile.
It provides rapid relief of allergic rhinitis and urticaria symptoms, enabling patients to enjoy better quality of life,” said Professor Ralph Mösges, an otorhinolaryngologist (ear-nose-throat specialist) and allergologist (allergy specialist) who is a Professor for Medical Informatics and Chairman of the Institute of Medical Statistics, Informatics and Epidemiology, University of Cologne in Germany.
Dr. Abong and Prof. Mösges spoke during the “Media Briefing on Allergy Control” organized by A. Menarini Philippines on April 8, 2015 at the Diamond Hotel in Manila. A product of leading Italian pharmaceutical company Menarini, Bilastine was officially launched in the country during the media briefing.
“A. Menarini Philippines is pleased to bring to the country our second-generation antihistamine that offers high efficacy, tolerability and safety. Through the availability of Bilastine and in partnership with local physicians, we aim to empower Filipinos to win the battle against allergies,” said Ninia Torres, General Manager, A. Menarini Philippines.