Health Watch: New drug and method to help with sinusitis available now

This is the season for sneezing and miserable colds.

However, some people suffer from a stuffy nose, congestion and trouble sleeping all year round.

Jim Dryden is pretty healthy, but when he comes down with even a mild virus, watch out.

"When I get a cold, for instance, it would last for probably five or six weeks," said patient Jim Dryden.

Simple colds lead to flare-ups of sinusitis. Desperate for relief, Jim enrolled in a study with Otolaryngologist Dr. Jay Piccirillo.

"Oftentimes, they're prescribed multiple rounds of antibiotics, which have their own costs and side effects," said Dr. Piccirillo.

Dr. Piccirillo is testing a way to deliver the steroid budesonide deep into the nasal cavity using nasal lavage, a method you might know as a neti pot.

Budesonide is a common anti-inflammatory nasal spray.

Jim mixes the steroid in his nasal rinse every day.

"The lavage actually delivers the medicine to areas of the nose that we don't think the medicine can get to by just using the spray," said Dr. Piccirillo.

His study shows an extra 20 percent reduction in symptoms.

"We think the addition of the steroid medicine to the lavage is an alternative to antibiotics and, in fact, it's probably even more effective because at the end, probably most of chronic rhinosinusitis is an inflammation problem, not an infection problem," said Dr. Piccirillo.

"It has been, it has been very helpful," said Dryden.

While both budesonide and the nasal lavage are common and widely available the new part is the delivery system.

You can talk to your doctor about how to add the powder form of the drug to a saltwater nasal rinse.
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