Randomized Trials of Nasal Patency and Dermal Tolerability With External Nasal Dilators in Healthy Volunteers

Allergy Rhinol (Providence). 2018 Oct 5;9:2152656718796740. doi: 10.1177/2152656718796740. eCollection 2018 Jan-Dec.


Background: External nasal dilator strips are used as nonpharmacological therapy to reduce snoring and daytime sleepiness. In a product improvement initiative, a marketed strip (BRNS) and 2 prototype nasal strips were evaluated.

Objective: To compare the nasal patency and multiple-use dermal tolerability of the BRNS and prototype nasal strips using both objective and subject-reported outcome measures.

Methods: Two studies were conducted separately in healthy volunteers ≥18 years of age. A single-day nasal patency randomized crossover study assessed minimal cross-sectional area (MCA; second restriction) and nasal volume (using acoustic rhinometry); nasal inspiratory flow and resistance (using posterior rhinomanometry); and subject-reported evaluations of the BRNS compared with the butterfly strip and teardrop strip prototypes. A single-center, randomized, controlled, parallel-group, evaluator-blinded study assessed dermal tolerability of the BRNS and the butterfly strip over 7 consecutive nights of use, using the Dermal Response Scale (DRS) and subject-reported comfort and ease of removal.

Results: In the Patency study (N = 50), all 3 strips demonstrated significant improvement from baseline in MCA, nasal volume, and nasal flow parameters (resistance and peak flow). The prototype strips demonstrated significantly more improvement in nasal volume than the BRNS, and the butterfly strip showed significantly more improvement in MCA than the BRNS; all strips were similar with respect to nasal flow and subject-reported nasal breathing outcomes. In the Dermal Tolerability study (N = 82), all subjects scored 0 (no evidence of irritation) on the DRS at all 7 morning assessments; the BRNS was numerically, but not significantly, superior to the butterfly strip on subject-reported outcomes.

Conclusion: The Patency study demonstrated significant improvement from baseline in nasal dimensions and flow for all 3 evaluated strips; between-strip differences were confined to nasal dimensions. Both the BRNS and butterfly strip were generally well tolerated, with no evidence of dermal response over 7 consecutive nights of use.ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: NCT01105949 and NCT01495494.

Keywords: Dermal Response Scale; acoustic rhinometry; external nasal dilator strip; nasal breathing; nasal inspiratory flow; nasal patency; nasal resistance; nonpharmacologic therapy; posterior rhinomanometry; subject-reported outcomes.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01105949
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01495494