ABBOTT INTRODUCES ACARIZAX TO CONTROL RESPIRATORY ALLERGY
APRIL 23, 2019 @ 9.28 PM
Abbott today launched Acarizax, a clinically proven under the tongue (sublingual) immunotherapy tablet in Malaysia that treats the underlying cause of house dust mite respiratory allergy, as opposed to just relieving symptoms.
A prescriptive drug, Acarizax is a novel treatment indicated for persistent moderate-to-severe house dust mite allergic rhinitis in adult (18 – 65 years) and adolescent (12 – 17 years) patients and house dust mite allergic asthma in adults.
Offered as a tablet that dissolves under the tongue, Acarizax offers a new and convenient treatment option, with proven clinical efficacy through the largest clinical development programme in allergy immunotherapy.
A common ailment among Malaysians
Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a non-life threatening inflammation of the inside of the nose caused by allergens such as pollen, dust, dust mites, mould or flakes of skin from certain animals. It is characterised by symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, nasal itching and running nose; in any combination.
A more serious condition – allergic asthma (AA) is an immunological response to similar allergens that causes inflammation and swelling of the airways of the lungs. This results in severe respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and other asthmatic features.
“Allergic Rhinitis affects 40% of the population in Malaysia and causes fatigue, headache and cognitive impairment. Research shows that those with allergic rhinitis are also at high risk of developing asthma. A close relationship exists between the two conditions as they are different manifestations linked to an allergen,” explained Dr Amir Hamzah, president, Malaysian Society of Allergy and Immunology (MSAI).
Dr Amir added that half of the 300 million global estimate of the asthmatic population lives in Asia.
“Allergic asthma is the most common type among Malaysians – affecting 80 – 90% of asthmatics. Adults with uncontrolled asthma and caregivers of children with uncontrolled asthma have significantly higher absenteeism, forcing them to miss work or school, which can impact productivity. Asthma symptoms may also interfere with sleep or prevent people from exercising or engaging in other leisure or social activities.”
House dust mite: A common indoor allergen
These allergic reactions stem from an over-reactive immune system. When a person reacts to the allergen, the immune system flares up upon exposure to an even seemingly harmless allergen such as house dust mite, which is present in the environment.
The majority of asthma and/or runny nose episodes are caused by an allergy to house dust mite which can be found in most homes. Several studies conducted over many years in Malaysia found that all houses surveyed has dust mites, with a minimum of at least six different species in mattresses in any house. While house dust mite can be reduced through simple measures such as vacuuming and regular changing of mattresses and pillows, these precautions do not eliminate it in its entirety.
Antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays
Up until now, house dust mite-induced allergic rhinitis has been treated with symptom-relieving medications such as antihistamines or steroid nasal sprays. However, studies have suggested that these treatments control only a portion of a patient’s symptoms. Since it is impossible to completely eliminate the allergen in a day-to-day setting, a treatment addressing symptoms only often do not provide a long-lasting respite.
Therefore, immunotherapy is sometimes the only alternative for a long-lasting control of symptoms for house dust mite-induced allergic rhinitis, as it addresses the underlying cause of the allergy.
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