WITHDRAWN: Antihistamines for the common cold.
Summary (1 min read)
De Sutter AIM, Saraswat A, van Driel ML. Antihistamines for the common cold.
- Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 11.
- Change in severity of overall symptoms - all trials, Outcome 4 Short-term ITT analysis.
- 71 Analysis 7.1. Comparison 7 Subjective severity assessment of rhinorrhoea - non-sedating antihistamines, Outcome 1 Fourth treatment day.
- Comparison 10 Subjective severity assessment of sneezing - sedating antihistamines, Outcome 4 Fourth treatment day.
- Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [Intervention Review].
Antihistamines for the common cold
- An IM De Sutter1,2, Avadhesh Saraswat3, Mieke L van Driel1,4,5 1Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
- 2Heymans Institute of Pharmacology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
- 4Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
- Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group, also known as Editorial group.
- New, published in Issue 11, 2015, also known as Publication status and date.
- On average, young children have six to eight colds per year and adults have two to four.
- Common cold symptoms include sore throat, nasal stuffiness and discharge, sneezing and cough.
- The common cold has a large impact on time off work or school.
- As there is no cure for the common cold, only symptomatic treatment is available.
- Antihistamines are effective for allergic symptoms such as hay fever.
- The authors selected randomised controlled trials (RCTs) using antihistamines as monotherapy for the common cold.
- The authors excluded any studies with combination therapy or using antihistamines in patients with an allergic component in their illness.
Data collection and analysis
- Two authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data.
- The authors collected adverse effects information from the included trials.
- The authors included 18 RCTs, which were reported in 17 publications (one publication reports on two trials) with 4342 participants (of which 212 were children) suffering from the common cold, both naturally occurring and experimentally induced.
- In adults there was a short-term beneficial effect of antihistamines on severity of overall symptoms: on day one or two of treatment 45% had a beneficial effect with antihistamines versus 38% with placebo (odds ratio (OR) 0.74, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.60 to 0.92).
- There was no difference between antihistamines and placebo in the mid term (three to four days) to long term (six to 10 days).
- Only two trials included children and the results were conflicting.
- The majority of the trials had a low risk of bias although some lacked sufficient trial quality information.
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Q1. What are the contributions in "Cochrane database of systematic reviews" ?
The authors reviewed evidence for the effectiveness of antihistamines on signs and symptoms of the common cold. The authors also investigated whether side effects were more common with antihistamines than placebo. Where possible the authors studied the immediate effect and the effect after six to 10 days. The authors considered five out of 16 adults studies and one out of two paediatric studies to be of excellent quality. All trials outlined the financial support received from pharmaceutical companies in the form of grants, supplying the respective intervention drug or having an author currently employed by a pharmaceutical company. No of participants ( studies ) Quality of the evidence ( GRADE ) Comments Assumed risk Corresponding risk Placebo Antihistamines Change in severity of overall symptoms: short-term Subjective severity score Follow-up: 1 to 2 days Study population OR 0. 74 ( 0. 60 to 0. 92 ) 1490 ( 3 studies ) ⊕⊕⊕© moderate1 623 per 1000 550 per 1000 ( 498 to 603 )