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Steroid Nasal Sprays Show Small Benefit for Sinusitis: Study
Date:5/15/2012

rays are "not a game changer," they may offer a treatment alternative.

But Dr. John Hickner, chairman of the department of family medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, was not impressed.

In an editorial accompanying the study, Hickner said such sprays are of "minimal value" for sinusitis patients.

"Nasal steroids are great for nasal allergies," he noted. "For hay fever, for example, but not for acute sinusitis. The study of previous studies shows that they work a little but not that much and not right away, which is what patients want. And they cost about $60 for a bottle, so you just don't get a lot of bang for your buck."

"I would say the best thing for these patients to do is to take zinc," Hickner said. "Zinc studies are pretty reliable, and they suggest that taking zinc lozenges for five days might reduce symptoms for one to two days, and they might not get so severe. And perhaps take some ibuprofen and Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) as a decongestant. All of that is much cheaper and probably just as effective."

More information

For more on sinusitis, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Matthew Thompson, senior clinical scientist, department of primary care health sciences, University of Oxford, England; John Hickner, M.D., MSc, chairman, department of family medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland; May/June 2012 Annals of Family Medicine


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