A second-generation all-natural nose spray called Sinol-M, whose main ingredient is capsaicin derived from hot peppers, safely and effectively relieves stubborn nasal allergies, according to results of a controlled clinical study.

"This study proved for the first time that a homeopathic nasal spray containing capsaicin is an effective treatment for allergic rhinitis," Dr. Christos Efessiou, CEO of Strategic BioSciences, told Reuters Health.

"Unlike the prescription nasal steroid sprays, this is an all-natural product that has now been demonstrated to provide clinical benefit and is available without a prescription," principal investigator Dr. Martha White of the Institute for Asthma and Allergy in Wheaton, Maryland, added in a written statement.

The study findings were presented at the 47th annual meeting of the Western Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Maui, Hawaii.

What makes Sinol-M different and it seems more effective than its predecessor Sinol, which is a registered homeopathic product in the US, is the addition of a patented "mucoadhesive" solution (MucoAd(tm)) that stays in the nose longer, curbing the frequency of needed doses and diminishes the "hot pepper" sting associated with capsaicin, the study team notes.

In their study, the research team instructed 24 people aged 13 and older who suffered from persistent allergic rhinitis (better known as hay fever) to use one spray of Sinol or Sinol-M in each nostril as needed up to 12 times a day for 1 week. After a week-long "washout" period, they crossed over the other formulation. The patients recorded the severity of their runny nose, itchy nose, stuffy nose and sneezing while on the different products.

Both Sinol and Sinol-M significantly reduced all nasal allergy symptoms, compared to the pre-treatment and washout periods, the team reports.

However, hay fever symptom relief was achieved with fewer Sinol-M than Sinol sprays - particularly at night, suggesting, the researchers say, that the newer formulation might allow a better night's sleep. As expected, Sinol-M also produced less burning sensations in the nose.

Sinol-M is expected to be available in the US beginning in March.

The study was supported by a research grant from Strategic BioSciences, the District of Columbia-based company that has licensed MucoAd, a patented mucoadhesive technology, to Sinol USA for the development of Sinol-M.