Child’s hayfever relieved by cellulose powder with no adverse effects

Despite cellulose powder having been used for many years as a treatment for allergic rhinitis, there has not been much scientific evidence in support of its efficacy, until now. Researchers from the Department of Paediatrics at the Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, led by associate professor and consultant Nils Åberg, have shown that cellulose powder reduces the symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis in children with no adverse effects.

The cellulose powder, which is produced from pine trees, is puffed into the nose and forms a barrier on the mucous membrane, filtering out any allergens. The study was carried out during birch pollen season in Gothenburg in Spring 2009. Fifty-three children and adolescents with allergic reactions to pollen took part in a study lasting four weeks. The participants were also on an antihistamine, and had the powder puffed into their noses three times a day. The results of the cellulose powder were compared to a placebo.

The results showed that nasal symptoms of allergic rhinitis were significantly reduced in the children who used cellulose powder. The best effects were recorded at times of low pollen levels, as measured everyday on the roof of the hospital. No adverse effects were recorded and Nils Åberg concluded that the use of cellulose powder for the treatment of allergic rhinitis in children would be safe.

Source: Wiley Online Library

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First Published in June 2011

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