Common cold and high-dose ipratropium bromide: use of anticholinergic medication as an indicator of reflex-mediated hypersecretion

Volume: 35 - Issue: 2

Firstpage: 58 - Lastpage: 62

B. Ostberg - B. Winther - P. Borum - N. Mygind

It was our aim to study the role played by parasympathetic reflexes for the amount and physical characteristics of nasal discharge during a common cold, and to define the maximum anti-rhinorrhoea effect obtainable with anticholinergic medication. Fifty adults with naturally acquired colds were treated with a very high dose of the topically active cholinoceptor-antagonists ipratropium bromide in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of parallel groups. A dosage of 400 micrograms was given 4 times daily for 3 days, using a specially manufactured high-dosed pressurized aerosol. This treatment resulted in a 56% reduction in the number of nose blowings (p < 0.01) and a 58% reduction in the weight of blown secretions (p < 0.01). Assessment of the \"pourability\" of the nasal discharge indicated that ipratropium bromide mainly reduces the watery secretions but not the mucopurulent secretions. The high dose of ipratropium bromide caused nose- and mouth-dryness in a considerable number of the patients. In conclusion: (1) during the first days of a common cold about 60% of the nasal discharge is a reflex-mediated product from nasal glands; (2) this type of secretion is predominantly watery; and (3) ipratropium bromide can reduce watery rhinorrhoea in the common cold, but a lower dose is required in order to avoid side effects.

B. Ostberg - B. Winther - P. Borum - N. Mygind - Common cold and high-dose ipratropium bromide: use of anticholinergic medication as an indicator of reflex-mediated hypersecretion
Rhinology 35-2: 58-62, 1997

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