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Antihistamines for treating rhinosinusitis: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled studies

  • K Seresirikachorn (a1), L Khattiyawittayakun (a1), W Chitsuthipakorn (a2) and K Snidvongs (a1)



Without the release of histamines, patients with rhinosinusitis may not benefit from antihistamines. Additionally, anticholinergic effects may do more harm than good. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of antihistamines in treating rhinosinusitis.


An electronic search was performed. Randomised controlled trials comparing antihistamines with either placebo or other treatments for patients with rhinosinusitis were selected.


Two studies (184 patients) met the inclusion criteria. Loratadine decreased nasal obstruction in allergic rhinitis patients with acute rhinosinusitis (mean difference = −0.58; confidence interval = −0.85 to −0.31, p < 0.01), but had no benefit on total symptom score (mean difference = −1.25; confidence interval = −2.77 to 0.27, p = 0.11), or rhinorrhoea symptoms (mean difference = −0.06; confidence interval = −0.37 to 0.25, p = 0.71).


There is limited evidence to support the use of antihistamines in treating rhinosinusitis. The number of included studies in this systematic review is limited. Antihistamines may relieve nasal obstruction in allergic rhinitis patients with acute rhinosinusitis.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Kornkiat Snidvongs, Department of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, 1873 Rama IV Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand Fax: +66 2 252 7787 E-mail:


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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
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