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A spray containing ipratropium bromide administered into the nose to treat common cold symptoms

The common cold is caused by a range of viruses and bacteria. It is the most common illness affecting humans. It causes a runny and stuffy nose, sore throat and sneezing. There is no proven cure for the cold and only symptom relief is available. The aim of this review was to investigate the use of a nasal spray containing ipratropium bromide (IB), which may improve cold symptoms. This review has found that IB may improve the runny nose but has no effect on nasal stuffiness.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Decongestants, antihistamines and nasal irrigation for acute sinusitis in children

The goal of this review was to determine whether there is any evidence in the medical literature for or against the use of decongestants, antihistamines and nasal irrigation for acute sinusitis in children.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Surgical interventions for chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps

Benign nasal polyps are abnormal tissue growths inside the nasal passages and sinuses, often on both sides of the nose. They can cause a wide array of symptoms including blocked nose, poor sense of smell that can lead to a loss of taste, runny nose and nasal congestion. Sinuses are air‐filled cavities in the bones of the face, which are in continuity with the nasal passages. The first‐line treatment for nasal polyps is usually medical therapy in the form of steroids ‐ as sprays (topically) or by mouth (orally). In patients where this treatment has failed to relieve the symptoms, the polyps can be removed surgically. These surgical procedures are often not curative and patients may need to continue medical therapy or undergo further surgeries. A number of well‐established surgical techniques can be used to remove polyps. What has not been established is whether removing the nasal polyps and clearing out the sinuses offers any advantage in the control of the disease when compared to simply removing the polyps and leaving the sinuses unchanged. We sought evidence in the literature to establish whether there was any difference in patients who underwent nasal polyp removal alone versus those who had nasal polyps removed as well as opening up of the sinuses.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Topical nasal steroids for intermittent and persistent allergic rhinitis in children

Allergic rhinitis is a very common chronic illness affecting 10% to 40% of children worldwide. There has been a significant increase in prevalence among children over the last two decades and this increase has been accompanied by a parallel increase in comorbid illnesses such as asthma. Symptoms include sneezing, itching, runny nose and nasal congestion. Allergic rhinitis may be defined as 'persistent' or 'intermittent'. These classifications loosely correspond to perennial (all year round) allergic rhinitis and seasonal allergic rhinitis ('hay fever'). There are a wide range of drug treatments available including topical and oral decongestants, topical and oral antihistamines, topical and systemic corticosteroids, leukotriene antagonists and a number of over the counter preparations. Topical steroids (nasal sprays) are often prescribed, and act directly on the nasal mucosa to reduce symptoms.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Do nasal decongestants used alone relieve cold symptoms?

We wanted to find out if nasal decongestants used alone can ease nasal congestion symptoms in people with colds.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Surgical versus medical interventions for chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps

Nasal polyps are common, benign swellings of the lining of the nose. In some people they may cause no symptoms, but in others they may lead to nasal obstruction, congestion, facial pressure and anosmia (loss of sense of smell). The incidence of symptomatic nasal polyps increases with age and they are more common in men than in women. The cause of nasal polyps is not fully understood but they may be a result of chronic (long‐term) inflammation of the lining of the nose (termed 'chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps'). Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps can be treated medically, for example with drugs such as topical (intranasal) steroid sprays, or with surgery (for example, nasal polypectomy with or without endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS)). However, it is unclear what is the most effective management strategy.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Capsaicin for non‐allergic rhinitis

Rhinitis means inflammation of the nose. It affects 30% to 40% of the general population. There are many forms of rhinitis: rhinosinusitis (or simply sinusitis), allergic rhinitis and non‐allergic rhinitis. Non‐allergic rhinitis is diagnosed in patients who have negative tests for allergies and also do not have sinusitis. The symptoms include congestion of the nose, a blocked or obstructed sensation in the nose that causes difficulty breathing, clear nasal discharge (runny nose), sneezing and nasal itching. There are several subtypes of non‐allergic rhinitis: occupational (from exposure to chemicals), smoking, gustatory (related to eating food or drinking fluid), hormonal (from changes in hormone levels in the body), pregnancy, senile or elderly (mostly affecting the older population), medication‐induced (for example, from overuse of decongestant nasal sprays) and local allergic (local allergy in the nose, while skin or blood allergy tests are negative). The most common subtype of non‐allergic rhinitis is 'idiopathic' or 'vasomotor' rhinitis, which results from imbalance of the neural (nerve) system that manages the function of the nose. The mechanisms of many of these subtypes remain unknown. Non‐allergic rhinitis affects about 25% to 50% of patients with rhinitis and is therefore very common.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Heated, humidified air for the common cold

The common cold is the most common infection in humans. Considered trivial, it does not cause complications but leads to significant work absenteeism due to discomfort caused by the symptoms.The common cold is diagnosed according to the symptoms and treatments are mainly symptomatic. New information, especially regarding the effects of cytokines in human beings, now helps to explain some of the symptoms of colds and influenza, such as fever, loss of appetite, malaise, chilliness, headache, and muscle aches and pains. Many of these signs and symptoms are common and are attributed to congestion arising from swelling of the membranes and thickened mucus inside the nose.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Antihistamines for the common cold

We reviewed evidence for the effectiveness of antihistamines on signs and symptoms of the common cold. We identified 18 trials with 4342 participants.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Vaccines for preventing the common cold

We looked at whether vaccines can help to prevent the common cold.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Steroidal anti‐inflammatory medication given by mouth or injection for acute sinusitis

We reviewed the evidence about the effect of steroidal anti‐inflammatory medication (i.e. corticosteroids) given by mouth or injection (i.e. systemically) compared to placebo or standard clinical care on acute attacks of nose and sinus complaints (i.e. acute sinusitis) in children and adults.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold

The common cold is a major cause of visits to a doctor in high‐income countries and of absenteeism from work and school. There are over 200 viruses which can cause the common cold symptoms including runny nose, congestion, sneezing, sore throat, cough, and sometimes headache, fever and red eyes. Symptoms vary from person to person and cold to cold. Since the common cold is usually caused by one of the respiratory viruses, antibiotics are useless and therefore other potential treatment options are of substantial public health interest.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the health problems that continue or appear after cancer treatment has ended.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: April 25, 2017

Steroids for acute sinusitis in adults and children

Acute sinusitis is a common reason for primary care visits; it is one of the 10 most common diagnoses in outpatient clinics, presenting with various symptoms and signs that include purulent nasal discharge and congestion and cough lasting beyond the typical seven to 10 days of a viral upper respiratory infection. There have been suggestions, based on studies of allergic rhinitis and chronic sinusitis, that intranasal corticosteroids (INCS) may relieve symptoms and hasten recovery in acute sinusitis due to their anti‐inflammatory properties.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

PRO 140 for treatment of people with HIV infection

PRO 140 (a humanized form of the PA14 antibody, a monoclonal CCR5 antibody) is a laboratory made antibody that blocks the CCR5 receptor on CD4 cells. By blocking CCR5, PRO 140 prevents the HIV virus from infecting healthy cells. PRO 140 may be an effective new treatment drug because it has the potential to address the limitations of currently available therapies for HIV‐infected patients. PRO 140 has emerged as an important new therapy and has entered testing.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Steam inhalation or humidified oxygen for acute bronchiolitis in children under three years of age

Bronchiolitis is the commonest respiratory infection in young children up to three years of age. It is commonly caused by respiratory syncytial virus. Children with bronchiolitis have a cough, fast and difficult breathing, nasal congestion, fever and wheeze. The disease is treated using drugs (bronchodilators and corticosteroids) and humidified air.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Early additional food and fluids for healthy breastfed full‐term infants

Internationally, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life is recommended but the practice of giving breastfeeding infants other fluids and/or foods before six months is common in many countries and communities.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

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Systematic Review Methods in PubMed

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