Corticosteroids not effective for treating acute sinusitis

August 7, 2012

Corticosteroids, frequently prescribed to alleviate acute sinusitis, show no clinical benefit in treating the condition, according to a randomized controlled trial published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

The common cold is the main cause of acute sinusitis, which is characterized by inflammation of the , blocked nasal passages and sometimes headaches and facial pain. Allergies and bacteria can also cause the condition, which is uncomfortable and difficult to treat. Antibiotics are a common treatment, despite the fact that the cause is often viral and will not respond to antibiotics. Corticosteroids are increasingly being used to alleviate symptoms, although the evidence for efficacy is inconclusive.

To determine the effectiveness of on acute rhinosinusitis (sinusitis), researchers from the Netherlands conducted a randomized, double-blind controlled trial involving 174 adults with clinically diagnosed acute rhinosinusitis. Eighty-eight patients were randomized to a group that received 30 mg/d of prednisolone for a week and the remaining 86 received placebo. In the prednisolone group, 55 of 88 patients (62.5%) reported that their facial pain or pressure had resolved by day 7, versus 48 of 86 (55.8%) in the . Although there was a slight reduction of facial pain in the prednisolone group, the results were neither statistically nor clinically significant. Moreover, other patient-relevant outcomes revealed similar results.

"We found no clinically relevant effect of systemic corticosteroid monotherapy among patients with clinically diagnosed, uncomplicated acute rhinosinusitis," writes Dr. Roderick Venekamp, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands, with coauthors.

"There is no rationale for the use of corticosteroids in the broad population of patients with clinically diagnosed acute rhinosinusitis," write the authors. "Future studies should focus on identifying subgroups of patients who may benefit from intranasal or systemic corticosteroid treatment."

Explore further: Research examines effect of prednisolone in patients with Bell palsy

More information: www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.120430

Related Stories

Research examines effect of prednisolone in patients with Bell palsy

May 21, 2012
Treatment for Bell palsy (a condition involving the facial nerve and characterized by facial paralysis) with the corticosteroid prednisolone within 72 hours appeared to significantly reduce the number of patients with mild ...

Steroid nasal sprays show small benefit for sinusitis: study

May 15, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Corticosteroid nasal sprays apparently are not a silver bullet when it comes to symptom relief for acute sinusitis patients, a new review suggests.

Recommended for you

H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for flu

October 19, 2017
In 2013, an influenza virus that had never before been detected began circulating among poultry in China. It caused several waves of human infection and in late 2016, the number of people to become sick from the H7N9 virus ...

Flu simulations suggest pandemics more likely in spring, early summer

October 19, 2017
New statistical simulations suggest that Northern Hemisphere flu pandemics are most likely to emerge in late spring or early summer at the tail end of the normal flu season, according to a new study published in PLOS Computational ...

New insights into herpes virus could inform vaccine development

October 18, 2017
A team of scientists has discovered new insights into the mechanisms of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, as well as two antibodies that block the virus' entry into cells. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National ...

Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatments

October 17, 2017
Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning.

Portable 3-D scanner assesses patients with elephantiasis

October 17, 2017
An estimated 120 million people worldwide are infected with lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic, mosquito-borne disease that can cause major swelling and deformity of the legs, a condition known as elephantiasis. Health-care ...

New tools to combat kidney fibrosis

October 16, 2017
Interstitial fibrosis – excessive tissue scarring – contributes to chronic kidney disease, which is increasing in prevalence in the United States.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.