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1.  Insights and advances in chronic urticaria: a Canadian perspective 
In the past few years there have been significant advances which have changed the face of chronic urticaria. In this review, we aim to update physicians about clinically relevant advances in the classification, diagnosis and management of chronic urticaria that have occurred in recent years. These include clarification of the terminology used to describe and classify urticaria. We also detail the development and validation of instruments to assess urticaria and understand the impairment on quality-of-life and the morbidity caused by this disease. Additionally, the approach to management of chronic urticaria now focuses on evidence-based use of non-impairing, non-sedating H1-antihistamines given initially in standard doses and if this is not effective, in up to 4-fold doses. For urticaria refractory to H1-antihistamines, omalizumab treatment has emerged as an effective, safe option.
doi:10.1186/s13223-015-0072-2
PMCID: PMC4336710
Chronic urticaria; Diagnosis; Classification; Management; Immunology; Antihistamines; Up-dosing; Omalizumab
5.  The efficacy and safety of the Timothy grass allergy sublingual immunotherapy tablet in Canadian adults and children 
Background
The effect of sublingual Timothy grass immunotherapy tablet 2800 BAU (grass SLIT-T) has been evaluated in three North American trials in adults and children who have allergic rhinitis with or without conjunctivitis (AR/C). This paper examines the effects of grass SLIT-T in Canadians.
Methods
Data for grass-allergic Canadians in three randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials were analyzed post hoc: 1) adults ≥18 y, grass-pollen season [GPS] 2009; 2) children 5– <18 y, 2009; and 3) adults 18–65 y and children 5– <18 y, GPS 2012. Data from the GPS 2009 trials were pooled to provide a more precise estimate of treatment effects than the individual studies would provide. In every trial, participants received once-daily grass SLIT-T or placebo approximately 12 weeks before and continuing throughout the GPS. Participants used daily electronic diaries to record AR/C symptoms and medication use for treatment of symptoms. The therapeutic effect of grass SLIT-T was measured as a total combined score (TCS = daily symptom score + daily medication score) averaged over the entire GPS. Safety was assessed by monitoring adverse events (AEs).
Results
In the three trials, 386 Canadian participants were randomized; the overall population had 2284 participants. Canadian participants treated with grass SLIT-T in the pooled adult-pediatric 2009 trials showed a 38% mean TCS reduction relative to placebo (-2.06 difference [95% CI: -3.72, -0.39]; 3.32 vs. 5.37). Participants treated with grass SLIT-T in the adult-pediatric 2012 trial showed a 37% median TCS reduction relative to placebo (-1.53 difference [95% CI: -2.1, -0.3]; 2.58 vs. 4.11). Similar efficacy findings were observed over the peak GPS. Approximately 90% of treatment-related AEs were mild or moderate in severity. Two Canadian participants had moderate systemic allergic reactions (skin, respiratory, abdominal symptoms) to grass SLIT-T; symptoms resolved within 1 hour without medical intervention or treatment. No serious or life-threatening treatment-related AEs occurred.
Conclusion
The 2800 BAU Timothy grass SLIT-T significantly improved AR/C induced by Timothy grass pollen in adults and children ≥5 y in Canadians, which was consistent with the robust efficacy observed in the overall trial population. The treatment was generally well tolerated.
Trial registration
Clinicaltrials.gov identifiers NCT00562159, NCT00550550, NCT01385371.
doi:10.1186/1710-1492-10-53
PMCID: PMC4326370
Allergic rhinitis; Conjunctivitis; Timothy grass pollen; Sublingual immunotherapy tablet
6.  Canadian hereditary angioedema guideline 
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a disease which is associated with random and often unpredictable attacks of painful swelling typically affecting the extremities, bowel mucosa, genitals, face and upper airway. Attacks are associated with significant functional impairment, decreased Health Related Quality of Life, and mortality in the case of laryngeal attacks. Caring for patients with HAE can be challenging due to the complexity of this disease. The care of patients with HAE in Canada is neither optimal nor uniform across the country. It lags behind other countries where there are more organized models for HAE management, and where additional therapeutic options are licensed and available for use. The objective of this guideline is to provide graded recommendations for the management of patients in Canada with HAE. This includes the treatment of attacks, short-term prophylaxis, long-term prophylaxis, and recommendations for self-administration, individualized therapy, quality of life, and comprehensive care. It is anticipated that by providing this guideline to caregivers, policy makers, patients and their advocates, that there will be an improved understanding of the current recommendations regarding management of HAE and the factors that need to be considered when choosing therapies and treatment plans for individual patients. The primary target users of this guideline are healthcare providers who are managing patients with HAE. Other healthcare providers who may use this guideline are emergency physicians, gastroenterologists, dentists and otolaryngologists, who will encounter patients with HAE and need to be aware of this condition. Hospital administrators, insurers and policy makers may also find this guideline helpful.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1710-1492-10-50) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1710-1492-10-50
PMCID: PMC4210625  PMID: 25352908
Hereditary angioedema; Guideline; Recommendations; Acute attacks; Short-term prophylaxis; Long-term prophylaxis; Self-administration; Individualized therapy; Quality of life; Comprehensive care; GRADE
10.  Efficacy and onset of action of mometasone furoate/formoterol and fluticasone propionate/salmeterol combination treatment in subjects with persistent asthma 
Background
Mometasone furoate/formoterol (MF/F) is a novel combination therapy for treatment of persistent asthma. This noninferiority trial compared the effects of MF/F and fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (FP/S) combination therapies on pulmonary function and onset of action in subjects with persistent asthma.
Methods
Following a 2- to 4-week run-in period with MF administered via a metered-dose inhaler (MDI) 200 μg (delivered as 2 inhalations of MF-MDI 100 μg) twice daily (BID), subjects (aged ≥12 y) were randomized to MF/F-MDI 200/10 μg BID (delivered as 2 inhalations of MF/F-MDI 100/5 μg) or FP/S administered via a dry powder inhaler (DPI) 250/50 μg (delivered as 1 inhalation) BID for 12 weeks. The primary assessment was change from baseline to week 12 in area under the curve for forced expiratory volume in 1 second measured serially for 0-12 hours postdose (FEV1 AUC0-12 h). Secondary assessments included onset of action (change from baseline in FEV1 at 5 minutes postdose on day 1) and patient-reported outcomes.
Results
722 subjects were randomized to MF/F-MDI (n = 371) or FP/S-DPI (n = 351). Mean FEV1 AUC0-12 h change from baseline at week 12 for MF/F-MDI and FP/S-DPI was 3.43 and 3.24 L × h, respectively (95% CI, -0.40 to 0.76). MF/F-MDI was associated with a 200-mL mean increase from baseline in FEV1 at 5 minutes postdose on day 1, which was significantly larger than the 90-mL increase for FP/S-DPI (P < 0.001). The overall incidence of adverse events during the 12-week treatment period that were considered related to study therapy was similar in both groups (MF/F-MDI, 7.8% [n = 29]; FP/S-DPI, 8.3% [n = 29]).
Conclusions
The results of this 12-week study indicated that MF/F improves pulmonary function and asthma control similar to FP/S with a superior onset of action compared with FP/S. Both drugs were safe, improved asthma control, and demonstrated similar results for other secondary study endpoints.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00424008
doi:10.1186/1710-1492-7-21
PMCID: PMC3298511  PMID: 22152089
asthma; mometasone furoate/formoterol; fluticasone propionate/salmeterol; noninferiority; onset of action

Results 1-10 (10)