Having recently been approved by regulators across the Atlantic, France’s Sanofi-Aventis and Belgian partner UCB say that their allergy drug Xyzal has now been launched in the USA.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved Xyzal (levocetirizine), a new once-daily antihistamine for the relief of symptoms associated with seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis and uncomplicated skin manifestations of chronic idiopathic urticaria in adults and children six years of age and older, in May. The drug, which is a follow-up to the blockbuster antihistamine Zyrtec (cetirizine), is now available in time for the autumn allergy season.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 60% of adult patients who were using a prescription medication to treat their seasonal allergies were very interested in finding a new treatment, said the two companies, who are reported to have put 1,000 sales reps into the field to promote Xyzal.

The FDA approval was based on the results of eight clinical trials involving over 2,000 allergic rhinitis patients which demonstrated that Xyzal considerably reduced the symptoms of sneezing, itchy and runny nose, plus itchy eyes. The treatment is currently marketed in over 80 countries.