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Papers of the Week

2021 May 07

Expert Opin Drug Saf

Safety review of current systemic treatments for severe chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps and future directions.


Chronic rhinosinusitis is a common condition characterised by inflammation of the nasal and sinus linings, rhinorrhoea, nasal blockage, facial pain and loss of sense of smell for longer than 12 weeks. CRS can occur with or without nasal polyps.Areas covered: First line treatment in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps is long-term intranasal corticosteroids, which have few adverse events associated with their use, as second-generation intranasal corticosteroids having a bioavailability of <0.5%. Systemic corticosteroids are used when intranasal steroids fail to achieve symptom control. However, the repeated use of oral corticosteroids is associated with numerous adverse events and the benefit from a course of oral corticosteroids is lost within three to six months.Expert opinion: Antibiotics are commonly prescribed in nasal polyposis although there is also very little evidence for their use outside of acute infection. Macrolide antibiotics are also associated with a transient increase in the risk of arrhythmias. Biologics offer a steroid-sparing alternative to the treatment of severe nasal polyposis. They have shown to be relatively well tolerated in studies to date, however studies suggest that there is no disease modifying effect and that any benefit is lost within weeks of finishing treatment.