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Evid Based Nurs 8:12 doi:10.1136/ebn.8.1.12
  • Treatment

Review: a single dose of nasal decongestant reduces congestion in the short term in adults with the common cold; insufficient evidence exists on the effectiveness of repeated doses

Nasal decongestants v placebo for the common cold*

Outcomes Dosage Number of studies (n) Weighted mean difference (95% CI)
*CI defined in glossary. Mean differences based on a fixed effects model.
†Not statistically significant.
Subjective assessment of congestion at 2 hours Single 4 (195) −0.13 (−0.19 to −0.07)
Subjective assessment of congestion (5 d mean) Repeated 1 (31) −0.07 (−0.21 to 0.07)†
Standardised mean difference (CI)
Objective assessment of congestion (nasal airways resistance) at 2 hours Single 4 (177) −0.56 (−0.86 to −0.25)

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