Harvard Health Letter

News briefs: Study shows corticosteroids ineffective in treating acute sinusitis

An acute attack of sinusitis is often treated with a corticosteroid, such as prednisolone, but a recent study suggests that this medication may not provide benefits. Research published in the August 7 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that treatment with the corticosteroid prednisolone had no beneficial effect on patients with acute sinusitis, and no significant impact on symptoms such as runny nose, cough, and nasal congestion. Corticosteroid use, which is designed to reduce inflammation, was shown to slightly help relieve facial pain due to sinusitis. As part of the study, researchers eliminated patients who had used corticosteroid nasal sprays for allergic sinusitis in the four weeks prior to the start of the study. It appears that corticosteroids may provide more relief for individuals dealing with allergy-related sinusitis. Researchers suggested that future research explore whether these patients and other subgroups might still see some benefits from intranasal corticosteroids.