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EXPERTS UNITE TO HELP PEOPLE MANAGE SPRING NASAL ALLERGY SNEEZIN'

Simple Steps Can Make a Big Difference In Managing Indoor and Outdoor Allergies

Atlanta, Ga. and Bridgewater, N.J. (March 02, 2009) /PRNewswire/ — As this year's spring nasal allergy season quickly approaches, people living with nasal allergies should take steps to manage their symptoms and ward-off allergens before they hit home. To help the nation's estimated 40 million nasal allergy sufferers prepare for the spring nasal allergy season, UCB and sanofi-aventis have enlisted a team of indoor and outdoor allergy experts in the Nasal Allergies: Tips from The Xperts awareness campaign. These experts, including Jeff May, Certified Indoor Air Quality Professional, are offering tips to help manage nasal allergy symptoms this spring and through out the year.

According to a recent survey, nearly three-quarters (74%) of those diagnosed with indoor and outdoor allergies stated that they don't feel like themselves when they are suffering from nasal allergies. And more than half of nasal allergy sufferers (53%) reported that they avoid activities like being outside, traveling and being social because of their nasal allergies. But according to May, who authored several books published by the Johns Hopkins University Press, including My House Is Killing Me! and Jeff May's Healthy Home Tips, this does not have to be the case.

Based on his indoor environmental investigations of thousands of homes, offices, and schools, May advises that there are solutions at hand to help manage nasal allergy symptoms that are commonly overlooked. "What many people don't realize is that a clean space may not be clean of allergens. To make a home a haven for nasal allergy sufferers, extra steps need to be taken," says May.

May offers these important steps to help prepare for and manage spring nasal allergies:

  • Watch out for carpets and upholstered furniture. Feel like you can't give up your carpets and upholstered furniture? Don't worry, a steam vapor treatment may help to kill some dust mites.
  • Wash your bedding weekly. Set a day each week to wash bedding in hot water (130F) and dry them in a hot dryer to help kill dust mites. If you have satin sheets freezing them overnight will kill dust mites, too.
  • Look into allergen-proof bedding. Allergen-proof mattresses and pillowcases are helpful for lessening exposure to dust mites. I would even recommend taping over the length of the zipper.
  • Wipe your feet. Pollen often clings to shoes when walking around outside so be sure to wipe your feet before going inside so you do not bring along the pollen, or better yet, leave pollen-covered shoes outdoors.
  • Leave pollen outside. It's better not to let the allergen in your home than to try to remove it once it's there, so do not rely too much on air purifiers. Keep your windows and doors closed, especially on days with a high pollen count

With spring allergy season upon us, it's more important than ever to be prepared to manage nasal allergy symptoms.

"Patients often do not acknowledge the seriousness of their nasal allergy symptoms and self-medicate without speaking with their doctor. However, through proper diagnosis and the right treatment, nasal allergy sufferers can begin to better control their symptoms as they head into the spring nasal allergy season," 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.

Dr. Blaiss advises:

  • Do not assume it is a cold: 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 allergies.
  • Nasal allergies aren't child's play: Sometimes childhood indoor and outdoor allergies disappear for many years, only to start up again in adulthood. If symptoms reappear, see a physician to have them re-evaluated.
  • Nasal allergies can be hereditary: If parents have indoor or outdoor allergies, it is possible that their children will also. Nasal allergies tend to be hereditary - although the exact genetic factors are not fully understood.

Nasal Allergies: Tips from The Xperts

Recognizing the diverse needs of nasal allergy sufferers, Jeff May and Dr. Blaiss have joined up with Dr. Linda Stein Gold, dermatologist, 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 allergy sufferers can log onto www.XYZAL.com to register for the My Xperts 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.

Indoor and outdoor allergy sufferers can also learn about an available treatment option XYZAL® (levocetirizine dihydrochloride), a once-daily prescription medication indicated for the relief of symptoms associated with indoor and outdoor allergies, as well as the treatment of uncomplicated manifestations of chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) in adults and children 6 years and older.

Nasal Allergies: Tips from The Xperts is supported by UCB and sanofi-aventis, the makers of XYZAL® (levocetirizine dihydrochloride).

About XYZAL®
Indications and Important Safety Information

XYZAL® is indicated for the relief of symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis (seasonal and perennial) and the treatment of uncomplicated skin manifestations of chronic idiopathic urticaria in adults and children 6 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 impairment at less than 10 mL/min creatinine clearance or patients undergoing hemodialysis; and pediatric patients aged 6 to 11 years with impaired renal function.

Patients should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous occupations requiring complete mental alertness and motor coordination, such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle, after ingestion of XYZAL®. Concurrent use of XYZAL® with alcohol or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants should be avoided because additional reductions in alertness and additional impairment of CNS performance may occur.

In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions in ≥2% of adult and adolescent patients (12 years of age and older) taking XYZAL® 2.5 mg, XYZAL® 5 mg, 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 4 to 6 weeks in duration, the most common adverse reactions in > 2% of pediatric patients (6-12 years of age) taking XYZAL® 5 mg included pyrexia (4% vs 2% placebo), cough (3% vs <1% placebo), somnolence (3% vs <1% placebo) and epistaxis (2% vs <1% placebo).

Please see accompanying full prescribing information or visit www.xyzal.com.

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 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 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 is a global leader in the biopharmaceutical industry 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 12,000 people in more than 40 countries, UCB achieved revenue of 3.6 billion euro in 2007. UCB is listed on NYSE Euronext (symbol: UCB). Worldwide headquarters is located in Brussels, Belgium; U.S. headquarters is located in Atlanta, Ga. For more information about UCB, visit www.UCB.com.

About sanofi-aventis

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

For Further Information, Please Contact:

Lynn Duran
UCB
678-571-0116
Amy Ba
sanofi-aventis
908-981-6563