During the past decade or so a great and varied assortment of drugs and mixtures has come to be used in the nose for local treatment of colds and sinusitis. The very diversity clearly indicates confusion in the purposes and anticipated effects of such treatment, for by no interpretation of physiologic facts can one correlate such different substances as oils, colloids, antiseptics, bacterial lysates, electrolytes, epinephrine, cocaine, ephedrine and the innumerable combinations that can be made from these.
One would do well, therefore, to pause and ask what one hopes to accomplish by local treatment. There are three possibilities: (1) shrinkage of mucosa to improve drainage of the sinuses ; (2) destruction of pathogenic bacteria, and (3) stimulation or restoration of physiologic response of the tissue. In each instance one would wish to avoid any subsequent depression of, or harmful effect on, normal function or tissue.
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PARKINSON SM. EPHEDRINE IN PHYSIOLOGIC SOLUTION OF SODIUM CHLORIDE AND LATERAL HEAD-LOW POSTURE IN TREATMENT OF THE NOSE AND SINUSES. Arch Otolaryngol. 1936;23(3):344–349. doi:10.1001/archotol.1936.00640040352007
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