A cellulose powder has been used increasingly for many years against allergic rhinitis. Still, there has been a shortage of scientific evidence for its efficacy in seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever), particularly in children. Now, however, scientists from the Sahlgrenska Academy and the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the University of Gothenburg have proven that the cellulose powder reduces symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis in children, without any adverse effects.
The powder is produced from pine trees and forms a barrier on the mucous membrane when puffed into the nose. This means that allergy causing substances are filtered out.
"The cellulose powder has no adverse effects, and this fact makes it a particularly attractive treatment for children. It is used increasingly in many countries, but there is until now no scientific study proving the efficacy of the cellulose powder in children during the pollen season", is the comment from Nils -berg, associate professor at the Department of Pediatrics and consultant at the Queen Silvia Children's Hospital.
Therefore, a study was carried out at the Queen Silvia Children's Hospital in Gothenburg during the birch pollen season in spring 2009. The cellulose powder was compared with a placebo (a substance without any medical effect). Fifty-three children and adolescents aged 8-18 years with allergic reaction to pollen participated in the study, lasting for 4 weeks when they puffed the powder in the nose3 times daily. Every day they also were on an antihistamine tablet (the most common treatment of hay fever). Reminders and reporting of symptom scores were performed using SMS messaging on mobile phones.