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Original Article
August 1998

Nasal Atropine Sulfate: Efficacy and Safety of 0.050% and 0.075% Solutions for Severe Rhinorrhea

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1998;124(8):916-920. doi:10.1001/archotol.124.8.916

Background  Anticholinergic agents, specifically the quaternary salt of atropine, are currently being recommended for chronic rhinitis and the common cold.

Objective  To evaluate the efficacy and safety of 50- and 75-µg doses of atropine sulfate as a nasal spray in perennial allergic rhinitis.

Methods  A placebo-controlled, double-blind study compared 2 doses of atropine nasal spray given 4 times daily for 2 weeks to 45 patients with perennial allergic rhinitis after a 2-week baseline period.

Results  Both concentrations of atropine nasal spray improved the severity of rhinorrhea and postnasal drip (P<.001) as reported by patients and physicians. The duration of action in reducing rhinorrhea and postnasal drip for atropine was 2 to 3 hours, compared with less than 1 hour for placebo (P<.01). No difference was noted in efficacy between the 2 atropine doses nor in frequency of adverse events with atropine nasal spray and placebo.

Conclusions  Atropine sulfate, 50 or 75 µg 4 times daily, is effective in reducing rhinorrhea and postnasal drip within 2 weeks and may be an alternative therapy for the rhinorrhea component of rhinitis.