Seasonal patterns of oral antihistamine and intranasal corticosteroid purchases from Australian community pharmacies: a retrospective observational study

Andrew Carney, David Price, Pete Smith, Richard Harvey, Vicky Kritikos, Sinthis Bosnic-Anticevich, Louise Christian, Derek Skinner, Victoria Carter, Alice Durieux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: To explore patterns in the purchase of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) oral antihistamines (OAHs) and intranasal corticosteroids (INCSs) by patients, from pharmacies in different geographical regions of Australia.

Patients and methods: Retrospective observational study using a database containing anonymous pharmacy transaction data from 20.0% of the pharmacies in Australia that link doctor prescriptions and OTC information. Pharmacy purchases of at least one prescription or OTC rhinitis treatment during 2013 and 2014 were assessed.

Results: In total, 4,247,193 prescription and OTC rhinitis treatments were purchased from 909 pharmacies over 12 months. Of treatments purchased, 75.9% were OAHs and 16.6% were INCSs. OTC purchases of both treatments exceeded purchases through prescription. OTC OAHs purchasing patterns were seasonal and almost identical in the Australian Capital Terri-tory, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, and New South Wales, and similar seasonal patterns for OTC INCSs were noted in most regions except for South Australia and Tasmania. Prescription purchasing patterns of both OAHs and INCSs remained unchanged throughout the year in most regions.

Conclusion:This large-scale retrospective observational study identified seasonal purchasing patterns of OTC and prescription OAHs and INCSs in a real-world setting. It highlighted that seasonality only affects OTC purchasing patterns of OAHs and INCSs across Australia and that practitioner prescribing remains unchanged, suggesting that it is only for persistent disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalPragmatic and Observational Research
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (


  • Allergic rhinitis
  • medication
  • Over-the-counter
  • Prescription
  • therapy
  • treatment


Dive into the research topics of 'Seasonal patterns of oral antihistamine and intranasal corticosteroid purchases from Australian community pharmacies: a retrospective observational study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this