Decongestants, antihistamines and nasal irrigation for acute sinusitis in children

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Oct 27;2014(10):CD007909. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007909.pub4.


Background: The efficacy of decongestants, antihistamines and nasal irrigation in children with clinically diagnosed acute sinusitis has not been systematically evaluated.

Objectives: To determine the efficacy of decongestants, antihistamines or nasal irrigation in improving symptoms of acute sinusitis in children.

Search methods: We searched CENTRAL (2014, Issue 5), MEDLINE (1950 to June week 1, 2014) and EMBASE (1950 to June 2014).

Selection criteria: We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs, which evaluated children younger than 18 years of age with acute sinusitis, defined as 10 to 30 days of rhinorrhea, congestion or daytime cough. We excluded trials of children with chronic sinusitis and allergic rhinitis.

Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently assessed each study for inclusion.

Main results: Of the 662 studies identified through the electronic searches and handsearching, none met all the inclusion criteria.

Authors' conclusions: There is no evidence to determine whether the use of antihistamines, decongestants or nasal irrigation is efficacious in children with acute sinusitis. Further research is needed to determine whether these interventions are beneficial in the treatment of children with acute sinusitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Histamine Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Nasal Decongestants / therapeutic use*
  • Nasal Lavage*
  • Sinusitis / therapy*


  • Histamine Antagonists
  • Nasal Decongestants