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Zinc acetate lozenges for treating the common cold: an individual patient data meta-analysis.

Abstract

AIMS

The aim of this study was to determine whether the allergy status and other characteristics of common cold patients modify the effects of zinc acetate lozenges.

METHODS

We had available individual patient data for three randomized placebo-controlled trials in which zinc acetate lozenges were administered to common cold patients. We used both one stage and two stage meta-analysis to estimate the effects of zinc lozenges.

RESULTS

The total number of common cold patients was 199, the majority being females. Eighty percent of them fell into the age range 20-50 years. One third of the patients had allergies. The one stage meta-analysis gave an overall estimate of 2.73 days (95% CI 1.8, 3.3 days) shorter colds by zinc acetate lozenge usage. The two stage meta-analysis gave an estimate of 2.94 days (95% CI 2.1, 3.8 days) reduction in common cold duration. These estimates are to be compared with the 7 day average duration of colds in the three trials. The effect of zinc lozenges was not modified by allergy status, smoking, baseline severity of the common cold, age, gender or ethnic group.

CONCLUSION

Since the effects of zinc acetate lozenges were consistent between the compared subgroups, the overall estimates for effect seemed applicable over a wide range of common cold patients. While the optimal composition of zinc lozenges and the best frequency of their administration should be further investigated, given the current evidence of efficacy, common cold patients may be encouraged to try zinc lozenges for treating their colds.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. harri.hemila@helsinki.fi.

    ,

    Applied Medical Research, Austin, Texas.

    ,

    Department of Learning Health Sciences, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    Department of Oncology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, USA.

    Source

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Common Cold
    Female
    Humans
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
    Tablets
    Treatment Outcome
    Young Adult
    Zinc Acetate

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Meta-Analysis

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    27378206

    Citation

    Hemilä, Harri, et al. "Zinc Acetate Lozenges for Treating the Common Cold: an Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis." British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, vol. 82, no. 5, 2016, pp. 1393-1398.
    Hemilä H, Petrus EJ, Fitzgerald JT, et al. Zinc acetate lozenges for treating the common cold: an individual patient data meta-analysis. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2016;82(5):1393-1398.
    Hemilä, H., Petrus, E. J., Fitzgerald, J. T., & Prasad, A. (2016). Zinc acetate lozenges for treating the common cold: an individual patient data meta-analysis. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 82(5), pp. 1393-1398. doi:10.1111/bcp.13057.
    Hemilä H, et al. Zinc Acetate Lozenges for Treating the Common Cold: an Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2016;82(5):1393-1398. PubMed PMID: 27378206.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Zinc acetate lozenges for treating the common cold: an individual patient data meta-analysis. AU - Hemilä,Harri, AU - Petrus,Edward J, AU - Fitzgerald,James T, AU - Prasad,Ananda, Y1 - 2016/07/28/ PY - 2016/05/13/received PY - 2016/06/17/revised PY - 2016/06/18/accepted PY - 2016/7/6/pubmed PY - 2017/12/30/medline PY - 2016/7/6/entrez KW - common cold KW - meta-analysis KW - randomized controlled trials KW - respiratory tract infections KW - zinc acetate SP - 1393 EP - 1398 JF - British journal of clinical pharmacology JO - Br J Clin Pharmacol VL - 82 IS - 5 N2 - AIMS: The aim of this study was to determine whether the allergy status and other characteristics of common cold patients modify the effects of zinc acetate lozenges. METHODS: We had available individual patient data for three randomized placebo-controlled trials in which zinc acetate lozenges were administered to common cold patients. We used both one stage and two stage meta-analysis to estimate the effects of zinc lozenges. RESULTS: The total number of common cold patients was 199, the majority being females. Eighty percent of them fell into the age range 20-50 years. One third of the patients had allergies. The one stage meta-analysis gave an overall estimate of 2.73 days (95% CI 1.8, 3.3 days) shorter colds by zinc acetate lozenge usage. The two stage meta-analysis gave an estimate of 2.94 days (95% CI 2.1, 3.8 days) reduction in common cold duration. These estimates are to be compared with the 7 day average duration of colds in the three trials. The effect of zinc lozenges was not modified by allergy status, smoking, baseline severity of the common cold, age, gender or ethnic group. CONCLUSION: Since the effects of zinc acetate lozenges were consistent between the compared subgroups, the overall estimates for effect seemed applicable over a wide range of common cold patients. While the optimal composition of zinc lozenges and the best frequency of their administration should be further investigated, given the current evidence of efficacy, common cold patients may be encouraged to try zinc lozenges for treating their colds. SN - 1365-2125 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27378206/full_citation L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/bcp.13057 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -