Published: 2018-08-23

Efficacy, safety and cost effectiveness of levocetrizine and ebastine in allergic rhinitis: a comparative study

Sharadashri Rao, Sunil Pai, Kuladeepa Ananda Vaidya, Tara V. Shanbhag


Background: Allergic rhinitis is a ubiquitous aliment affecting a large population of individuals. The mainstay of treatment includes antihistamines and topical steroids. With a large assortment available, the choice of the drugs needs to be non-random and evidenced based. Hence this study was undertaken to compare Levocetrezine and Ebastine in terms of efficacy, safety and cost effectiveness in treatment of allergic rhinitis.

Methods: Newly diagnosed patients with allergic rhinitis were categorized into two groups and treated with Levocetrizine 5mg and Ebastine 20mg per day respectively. Severity of the symptoms at the commencement and at the end of second and the fourth weeks of therapy were assessed using a four-point Likert scale and assigning a Total Nasal Symptoms Score (TNSS). The primary efficacy measure was mean change from baseline TNSS at each follow up visit. Change in TNSS was compared using Independent sample test. Adverse effects in both the groups were compared using Chi square test. Cost effectiveness was inferred by calculation of the Average Cost Effectiveness Ratio.

Results: A total of 159 patients 84 from Levocetrizine group (L group) and 75 from the Ebastine group (E group) were available for study. At the end of second week, the E group showed a better reduction in TNSS(p-0.04). However, both the groups showed similar reduction in TNSS at the concluding visit (p-value of 0.09). The incidence of adverse effects was significantly higher in the L than in E. Levocetrezine was found to be more cost effective than Ebastine.

Conclusions: Levocterezine and Ebastine are equally efficacious in treatment of allergic rhinitis. Hence treatment will have to be personalized to the individual patients based on other factors such as adverse drug effects and cost effectiveness.


Allergic rhinitis, Cost-effectiveness Ebastine, Efficacy, Levocetrezine

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