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VIDEO: Nasal Allergy Experts Offer Free Advice for Back to School Sneezin'

ATLANTA and BRIDGEWATER, N.J. Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- From cubbies and carpets to class pets and pollen, as parents prepare for this year's back to school they should also prepare for the upcoming fall allergy season. To help children with nasal allergies ease into the new school year, the My Xperts(TM) program, created by UCB and sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC., is offering new tips from a team of indoor and outdoor nasal allergy experts to help parents prepare for fall allergy season in and out of the classroom.

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It is estimated that an average of 10,000 American children miss school each day because of nasal allergies, causing two million lost school days each year. And when in school, children with nasal allergies often have trouble concentrating or even staying awake because of their symptoms.

Jeff May, certified indoor air quality professional and author of My House Is Killing Me! and Jeff May's Healthy Home Tips, says this does not have to be the case and that there are several ways to help manage children's exposure to allergens at school.

Based on his indoor environmental investigations of thousands of schools, homes, and offices, May advises, "There are common places in the classroom where allergens hide, and with a little advance work, you can help minimize your child's exposure to common allergens in the classroom."

May offers these important steps to help minimize the exposure to allergens in the classroom and home:

  • Especially on high pollen days, keep the windows closed. Open windows allow pollen and other airborne allergens to drift into the classroom. A clean air conditioner can help to cool and clean the air.
  • If you want to read a book, it is best to sit at a desk, not on the carpet. Hardwood, tile or linoleum is also better for children and adults with nasal allergies.
  • If your child is allergic to a particular animal, like a rabbit, bird, cat or dog, be sure that animal isn't in the classroom and that your child isn't sitting next to someone who owns that animal. If your child is allergic to the class pet, ask the school to remove the animal or ensure it is well kept.
  • If there is a fish tank in your child's classroom, talk to the teacher about keeping the cover and rim clean.
  • Before you put fall clothing back in the drawers or closet, be sure it's well washed, especially if it has been stored in the basement. Storing your child's fall and winter clothing in airtight plastic boxes or bags will help protect them from excessive basement humidity.

Nasal allergies are believed to affect as many as 40 percent of U.S. children. According to a recent study, over one third of people with allergic rhinitis feel they are less effective at work and at school when experiencing nasal allergy symptoms. One of the most common reasons that patients do not seek treatment is because they're unsure if their symptoms are due to nasal allergies. However, with proper preparation and management, patients can effectively manage nasal allergy symptoms and minimize their impact on education and daily life activities.

"Allergic rhinitis is currently the most common chronic condition found in children, and these symptoms can impact a child's performance at school," said Dr. Michael Blaiss, clinical professor of pediatrics and medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center; past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) and co-editor of the Atlas of Allergic Diseases. "Parents should be aware of symptoms that could be a sign of nasal allergies and speak to their physician for proper diagnosis. With a few extra steps in daily routine, parents can help manage their child's symptoms."

If you think your child might be suffering from indoor or outdoor nasal allergies, Dr. Blaiss advises to consider these tips and speak to your physician:

  • If sneezing and a stuffy or runny nose come without a fever, sore throat, colored nasal discharge, and/or aches and pains, see a physician - it could be nasal allergies.
  • Some nasal allergy medications can be taken once daily alleviating the need for treatments at school.
  • If your child has dark circles under their eyes, parents should talk with their child's healthcare professional to determine if the condition is related to their nasal allergies.
  • With proper management and preparation, people - including children - can manage their fall indoor and outdoor nasal allergy symptoms. If you think your child has nasal allergies, make an appointment to see your physician to ensure they are properly diagnosed and managed.

Nasal Allergies: Tips from The Xperts

Recognizing the diverse needs of nasal allergy sufferers, Mr. May and Dr. Blaiss have joined up with Liesa Elliot, professional air quality specialist, among others in the Nasal Allergies: Tips from the Xperts campaign. Throughout the year this team of experts will offer tips and guidance to support nasal allergy sufferers with individual needs and interests. Nasal allergy sufferers will also be encouraged to speak with their physician to review their current nasal allergy management routine.

Indoor and outdoor nasal allergy sufferers can log onto to register for the My Xperts(TM) program. They will receive customized e-newsletters to support them in managing their nasal allergy symptoms and learn more about importance of visiting their physician to review their current nasal allergy management routine.

XYZAL(R) (levocetirizine dihydrochloride) is indicated for the relief of symptoms associated with perennial allergic rhinitis and the treatment of uncomplicated skin manifestations of chronic idiopathic urticaria in adults and children 6 months of age and older, and for relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis in adults and children 2 years of age and older.

Jeff May and Dr. Blaiss are paid consultants of sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC.

Nasal Allergies: Tips from the Xperts is brought to you by UCB, Inc. and sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC., the makers of XYZAL(R) (levocetirizine dihydrochloride).

About XYZAL(R)

Indications and Important Safety Information

XYZAL(R) (levocetirizine dihydrochloride) is indicated for the relief of symptoms associated with perennial allergic rhinitis and the treatment of uncomplicated skin manifestations of chronic idiopathic urticaria in adults and children 6 months of age and older, and for relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis in adults and children 2 years of age and older.

The use of XYZAL is contraindicated in: patients with a known hypersensitivity to levocetirizine or any of the ingredients of XYZAL or to cetirizine (observed reactions range from urticaria to anaphylaxis); patients with end-stage renal disease with a creatinine clearance less than 10 mL/min or patients undergoing hemodialysis; and pediatric patients aged 6 months to 11 years with renal impairment.

Patients should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous occupations requiring complete mental alertness such as driving or operating machinery when taking XYZAL. Concurrent use of XYZAL with alcohol or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants should be avoided.

In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions in greater than or equal to 2% of adult and adolescent patients (12 years of age and older) taking XYZAL 2.5 mg or XYZAL 5 mg once daily or placebo were somnolence (5%, 6%, 2%), nasopharyngitis (6%, 4%, 3%), fatigue (1%, 4%, 2%), dry mouth (3%, 2%, 1%), and pharyngitis (2%, 1%, 1%), respectively.

In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions in greater than or equal to 2% of pediatric patients 6 to 12 years of age taking XYZAL 5 mg once daily or placebo were pyrexia (4%, 2%), cough (3%, <1%), somnolence (3%, <1%), and epistaxis (2%, <1%), respectively. The most common adverse reactions in greater than or equal to 2% of pediatric patients 1 to 5 years of age taking XYZAL 1.25 mg twice daily or placebo were pyrexia (4%, 2%), diarrhea (4%, 3%), vomiting (4%, 3%), and otitis media (3%, 0%), respectively. The most common adverse reactions in pediatric patients 6 to 11 months of age taking XYZAL 1.25 mg once daily or placebo were diarrhea (13%, 4%) and constipation (7%, 4%), respectively.

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About Allergic Conditions

Many people suffer from the symptoms associated with common allergic conditions. The immune system of nasal allergy sufferers over-reacts to something in the environment, leading to symptoms that affect their respiratory system, eyes, or skin. Experts estimate indoor and outdoor nasal allergies affect as many as 40 million people in the United States.

Seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR), commonly referred to as "hay fever" or "outdoor allergies," is the most common form of allergic rhinitis. By definition, SAR includes nasal allergies to seasonal pollens like grass, trees, and weeds, as well as mold. Perennial Allergic Rhinitis (PAR) is sometimes referred to as "year round" or "indoor allergies" and is characterized by allergic symptoms that last longer than four weeks. House dust mites, animal dander, and mold most commonly trigger PAR. Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria (CIU) is most commonly known as "chronic hives of unknown origin" and is defined as the occurrence of daily, or almost daily, wheals and itching for at least six weeks with no obvious causes.

About UCB

UCB, Brussels, Belgium ( is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of innovative medicines with a focus on the fields of central nervous system and immunology disorders. Employing approximately 10,000 people in over 40 countries, UCB generated revenue of EUR 3.6 billion in 2008. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB). U.S. headquarters is located in Atlanta, Ga.

About sanofi-aventis

Sanofi-aventis U.S. is an affiliate of sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of patients. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT : SAN) and in New York (NYSE : SNY).

SOURCE UCB; sanofi-aventis
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