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The range of treatments for hay fever available to the general practitioner has changed considerably in recent years. New antihistamines have addressed the problem of sedation and moved towards one daily dose; nasally applied corticosteroids avoid the need for systemic steroid therapy and its potential adverse effect; and regulatory decisions have set a trend away from immunotherapy in general practice. However, knowledge about the mechanism of action of immunotherapy is increasing and new developments with improved safety profiles include allergen polymers, allergoids, oral immunotherapy and nasal immunotherapy. Choice of treatment depends, as always, on the individual circumstances of the patient and his or her disease.