Assessment of cost effectiveness of antihistaminics in allergic rhinitis patients in rural region by Nasal cytology: a simple and inexpensive tool

Ganesh S. Pentewar, Ranjit J. Wagh, Aparna S. Chincholkar


Background: This study was to assess the usefulness of nasal smear as a quick, easy and inexpensive diagnostic method for allergic rhinitis and for assessment of the cost effectiveness of antihistaminics.

Methods: This study was conducted in rural setting of tertiary care hospital. Nasal smears were taken from 52 patients with a clinical history of nasal allergy having nasal congestion score of at least 3 or more. Nasal smears were stained with Hematoxilin-Eosin and examined by pathologists.

Results: A total of 52 patients 13 in each groups of the age group 18 to 65 years (Mean age, 33.73±10.23 years); 48.08% are Female and 51.92% are Male were randomized and received either Cetirizine, Levocetirizine, Loratadine, or Fexofenadine over a period of one week. The association of eosinophil before and after the treatment was obtained using logistic regression analysis for each treatment separately. Eosinophil is marginally associated with Cetirizine before and after treatment.

Conclusions: Evaluation of eosinophils in nasal smear is an insensitive but cheaper test for the diagnosis of allergic rhinitis and use as a simple tool for comparison of cost effectiveness among commonly used oral antihistaminics. pharmacoeconomic analysis of present comparative clinical study shows that cetirizine is a better choice in comparison with levocetrizine, loratidine and fexofenadine due to its cost effectiveness.


Allergic rhinitis, Antihistaminics, Cost effectiveness, Eosinophilia, Nasal cytology

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