A real-world study of quality of life following treatment with xylometazoline hydrochloride in individuals with common cold

Ther Adv Respir Dis. 2024 Jan-Dec:18:17534666241228927. doi: 10.1177/17534666241228927.


Background: The common cold is a frequent, acute, and mild upper respiratory human disease. Nasal congestion has been considered the most bothersome symptom in the common cold, impacting quality of life (QoL). Topical decongestants containing steroids benefit QoL in allergic rhinitis, but no published research has assessed the impact of topical decongestants on QoL in the common cold.

Objective: To evaluate the effects of xylometazoline hydrochloride 0.1% (Otrivin, GSK Consumer Healthcare SARL, Switzerland) for up to 7 days on QoL in participants with nasal congestion associated with the common cold.

Design: This was a decentralized, longitudinal, open-label study.

Methods: The study enrolled 136 participants (⩾18 years) with early symptoms of the common cold, of which 102 were included in the modified intention-to-treat (mITT) population. Within 24 h of study product receipt, participants confirmed a 'plugged nose' and ⩾1 other common cold symptom. Primary endpoints were Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey-21 (WURSS-21) total score, total and individual symptom scores, and total QoL score. Secondary endpoints were additional QoL scores. Exploratory and post hoc analyses included median days to resolution for each QoL factor and analyses of five QoL categories.

Results: Consistent improvements in symptoms and QoL were seen in the mITT population. From day 1, improvements were seen in the 'plugged nose' symptom (p = 0.0023), WURSS-21 total QoL score, and all individual QoL scores (p < 0.0001 for all). After the last dose needed, significant improvements were seen in sleep quality (73%), vitality (76%), physical activity (71%), social activity (80%), and sensation (81%). No serious or unexpected adverse events were reported.

Conclusion: This study is the first to demonstrate in a real-life setting that treating nasal congestion in adults with xylometazoline hydrochloride 0.1% during the common cold positively impacts QoL factors relevant to daily living [Otrivin: Quality of Life (QoL) Impact in a Real-World Setting; https://clinicaltrials.gov/study/NCT05556148].

Keywords: WURSS-21; decentralized; nasal congestion; real-world evidence; xylometazoline nasal decongestant.

Plain language summary

Impact of xylometazoline hydrochloride 0.1% on quality of life in people with blocked nose associated with the common coldThe common cold is a widespread, mild respiratory illness for which a hallmark symptom is a blocked or stuffy nose, which makes breathing and sleeping difficult. This study focused on how a nasal spray called Otrivin (containing xylometazoline hydrochloride 0.1%) impacts the quality of life (QoL) of people suffering from nasal congestion due to the common cold.Participants answered a questionnaire called the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey-21 (WURSS-21), which helped understand how people experience respiratory symptoms and how different aspects of QoL were impacted. Participants also responded to eight additional QoL questions not covered in the WURSS-21.The results showed that from the first day of using the nasal spray, participants experienced significant relief from the blocked nose symptom and reported an overall improvement in their QoL and well-being, such as in sleep quality, energy levels, senses, and physical and social activities.In conclusion, this real-world study demonstrated that using xylometazoline hydrochloride 0.1% nasal spray during the common cold can significantly improve nasal congestion and various aspects of a person’s daily life. These findings provide valuable evidence for using this nasal spray to relieve symptoms and enhance the overall well-being of individuals with the common cold.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Adult
  • Common Cold* / chemically induced
  • Common Cold* / diagnosis
  • Common Cold* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Imidazoles*
  • Nasal Decongestants / adverse effects
  • Quality of Life


  • xylometazoline
  • Nasal Decongestants
  • Imidazoles

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT05556148