↓ Skip to main content

Antihistamines for the common cold

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, November 2015
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (98th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
6 news outlets
blogs
1 blog
twitter
475 tweeters
facebook
10 Facebook pages
wikipedia
1 Wikipedia page
googleplus
3 Google+ users
video
1 video uploader

Citations

dimensions_citation
26 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
119 Mendeley
You are seeing a free-to-access but limited selection of the activity Altmetric has collected about this research output. Click here to find out more.
Title
Antihistamines for the common cold
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, November 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd009345.pub2
Pubmed ID
Authors

An IM De Sutter, Avadhesh Saraswat, Mieke L van Driel

Abstract

The common cold is an upper respiratory tract infection, most commonly caused by a rhinovirus. It affects people of all age groups and although in most cases it is self limiting, the common cold still causes significant morbidity. Antihistamines are commonly offered over the counter to relieve symptoms for patients affected by the common cold, however there is not much evidence of their efficacy. To assess the effects of antihistamines on the common cold. We searched CENTRAL (2015, Issue 6), MEDLINE (1948 to July week 4, 2015), EMBASE (2010 to August 2015), CINAHL (1981 to August 2015), LILACS (1982 to August 2015) and Biosis Previews (1985 to August 2015). We selected randomised controlled trials (RCTs) using antihistamines as monotherapy for the common cold. We excluded any studies with combination therapy or using antihistamines in patients with an allergic component in their illness. Two authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. We collected adverse effects information from the included trials. We included 18 RCTs, which were reported in 17 publications (one publication reports on two trials) with 4342 participants (of which 212 were children) suffering from the common cold, both naturally occurring and experimentally induced. The interventions consisted of an antihistamine as monotherapy compared with placebo. In adults there was a short-term beneficial effect of antihistamines on severity of overall symptoms: on day one or two of treatment 45% had a beneficial effect with antihistamines versus 38% with placebo (odds ratio (OR) 0.74, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.60 to 0.92). However, there was no difference between antihistamines and placebo in the mid term (three to four days) to long term (six to 10 days). When evaluating individual symptoms such as nasal congestion, rhinorrhoea and sneezing, there was some beneficial effect of the sedating antihistamines compared to placebo (e.g. rhinorrhoea on day three: mean difference (MD) -0.23, 95% CI -0.39 to -0.06 on a four- or five-point severity scale; sneezing on day three: MD -0.35, 95% CI -0.49 to -0.20 on a four-point severity scale), but this effect is clinically non-significant. Adverse events such as sedation were more commonly reported with sedating antihistamines although the differences were not statistically significant. Only two trials included children and the results were conflicting. The majority of the trials had a low risk of bias although some lacked sufficient trial quality information. Antihistamines have a limited short-term (days one and two of treatment) beneficial effect on severity of overall symptoms but not in the mid to long term. There is no clinically significant effect on nasal obstruction, rhinorrhoea or sneezing. Although side effects are more common with sedating antihistamines, the difference is not statistically significant. There is no evidence of effectiveness of antihistamines in children.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 475 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 119 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Australia 2 2%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 115 97%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Unspecified 21 18%
Student > Master 19 16%
Researcher 16 13%
Student > Ph. D. Student 14 12%
Other 13 11%
Other 36 30%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 57 48%
Unspecified 26 22%
Nursing and Health Professions 9 8%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 7 6%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 6 5%
Other 14 12%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 358. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 22 May 2019.
All research outputs
#28,882
of 12,978,654 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#58
of 10,427 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#1,000
of 352,857 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#3
of 221 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,978,654 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 10,427 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.5. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 352,857 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 221 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.