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The number of allergy sufferers is constantly increasing, and effective and safe therapy is essential for these patients.

Allergy is an excessive immune response to an antigen that is harmless by itself. The most common form of allergy is hay fever. Since the symptoms of hay fever are manifested within a very short time by reactions of the immunoglobulins E (IgE), it is also called an allergy of the immediate type or a type 1 allergy. It is imperative that hay fever be treated immediately, since in addition to the disturbances in the patient’s state of health and performance, a “floor change” very often occurs, in which the disease shifts from the sections of the upper respiratory tract to deeper sections of the lungs with asthmatic symptoms.

To restore quality of life, symptoms can be controlled with mast cell stabilizers, anti-IgE antibodies, glucocorticoids, or histamine H1 receptor antagonists. Agents of first choice are the newer generation antihistamines (e.g., cetirizine, loratadine) because of the risk-benefit ratio.1


1 Stark H. Awake through the allergy season, Pharmazeutische Zeitung online, issue 13/2011.