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Article
October 20, 1993

Over-the-Counter Cold Remedies-Reply

Author Affiliations

Izaak Walton Killam Children's Hospital Halifax, Nova Scotia
Hospital for Sick Children Toronto, Ontario

JAMA. 1993;270(15):1813. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510150046022

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Abstract

In Reply.  —We appreciate the thoughtful and careful review of our study recently reported in JAMA. Drs Luks and Anderson raised several important points but highlight the importance of clinical significance in the evaluation of over-the-counter cold medications.The purpose of our review was to provide a quantitative evaluation of the studies using over-the-counter cold medications. Clinical significance was one part of the evaluation (Table 1, item 11). We should clarify that this was evaluated with each of the articles we reviewed. We specifically paid attention to the practical importance of a difference in clinical outcomes. If the difference between treatment and placebo was statistically significant, we asked whether it was clinically significant as well. Conversely, if the difference was not statistically significant, we asked whether the trial was large enough to show a clinically important difference if it had occurred (ie, a β error).We agree that none of

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