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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Capsaicin for non-allergic rhinitis

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2015
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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 (98th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (92nd percentile)

Mentioned by

7 news outlets
1 blog
46 tweeters
6 Facebook pages
5 Wikipedia pages
1 Google+ user


43 Dimensions

Readers on

205 Mendeley
Capsaicin for non-allergic rhinitis
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd010591.pub2
Pubmed ID

Artur Gevorgyan, Christine Segboer, Rob Gorissen, Cornelis M van Drunen, Wytske Fokkens


There are many forms of rhinitis. Patients are diagnosed with non-allergic rhinitis when anatomic, infectious and allergic aetiologies have been excluded. The symptoms, including nasal congestion, blockage or obstruction, clear rhinorrhoea, sneezing and, less frequently, nasal itching, can range from mild to debilitating. It affects between 25% and 50% of patients with rhinitis. Several medications are widely used in the treatment of non-allergic rhinitis, including oral and topical nasal antihistamines, intranasal and (rarely) systemic corticosteroids, and anticholinergics. Capsaicin, the active component of chili peppers, delivered intranasally, is considered a treatment option for non-allergic rhinitis. To assess the effectiveness of capsaicin in the management of non-allergic rhinitis compared with no therapy, placebo or other topical or systemic medications, or two or more of the above therapies in combination, or different capsaicin regimens. We searched the Cochrane Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Group Trials Register; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL 2015, Issue 5); PubMed; EMBASE; CINAHL; Web of Science; Cambridge Scientific Abstracts; ICTRP and additional sources for published and unpublished trials. The date of the search was 24 June 2015. Randomised controlled trials in adult patients with non-allergic rhinitis comparing intranasal capsaicin with no therapy, placebo or other topical or systemic medications, or their combinations. We used the standard methodological procedures expected by The Cochrane Collaboration. We included four studies (five publications) involving 302 participants with idiopathic non-allergic rhinitis. All the included studies described patients with moderately severe, idiopathic non-allergic rhinitis who were between the ages of 16 and 65. Studies had follow-up periods ranging from four to 38 weeks. The overall risk of bias in the studies was either high or unclear (two studies had overall high risk of bias, while two others had low to unclear risk of bias). Using the GRADE system we assessed the evidence as being of low to moderate quality. A meta-analysis was not possible, given lack of similarity of the reported outcomes.Two studies compared capsaicin with placebo. One study reported that capsaicin resulted in an improvement of overall nasal symptoms (a primary outcome) measured on a visual analogue scale (VAS) of 0 to 10. There was a mean difference (MD) of -3.34 (95% confidence interval (CI) -5.24 to -1.44), MD -3.73 (95% CI -5.45 to -2.01) and MD -3.52 (95% CI -5.55 to -1.48) at two, 12 and 36 weeks post-treatment, respectively. Another study reported that, compared to placebo, capsaicin (at 4 µg/puff) was more likely to produce overall symptom resolution (reduction in nasal blockage, sneezing/itching/coughing and nasal secretion measured with a daily record chart) at four weeks post-treatment (a primary outcome). The risk ratio (RR) was 3.17 (95% CI 1.38 to 7.29).One study compared capsaicin to budesonide (an intranasal corticosteroid). This study found that patients treated with capsaicin had a better overall symptom score compared to those treated with budesonide (MD 2.50, 95% CI 1.06 to 3.94, VAS of 0 to 10). However, there were no differences in the individual symptom scores for headache, postnasal drip, rhinorrhoea, nasal blockage, sneezing and sore throat assessed during the last three days of a four-week treatment.One study compared two different regimens of capsaicin administration: five treatments in one day versus five treatments given every two to three days during two weeks. Using daily record charts, the study reported significant improvement of individual symptom scores for rhinorrhoea in patients treated five times per day, however numerical data were not presented. There were no improvements in the other outcomes: rhinorrhoea, nasal obstruction, sneezing and overall nasal symptoms, measured on a VAS.Finally, one of these studies also compared three doses of capsaicin (to placebo). Patients treated with a 1 µg versus 4 µg per puff dose of capsaicin had a worse daily record chart overall symptom score resolution (RR 0.63, 95% CI 0.34 to 1.16).Only one study attempted to measure adverse effects (a primary outcome), however due to methodological issues with the assessment we are unable to draw any conclusions.We sought to include other secondary outcomes (e.g. quality of life measures, treatment dropouts, endoscopic scores, turbinate or mucosal size, cost of therapy), but none of these were measured or reported in the included studies. Capsaicin may be an option in the treatment of idiopathic non-allergic rhinitis. It is given in the form of brief treatments, usually during the same day. It appears to have beneficial effects on overall nasal symptoms up to 36 weeks after treatment, based on a few, small studies (low-quality evidence). Well-conducted randomised controlled trials are required to further advance our understanding of the effectiveness of capsaicin in non-allergic rhinitis, especially in patients with non-allergic rhinitis of different types and severity, and using different methods of capsaicin application.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 46 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 205 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 205 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 37 18%
Student > Bachelor 25 12%
Researcher 21 10%
Student > Ph. D. Student 19 9%
Other 14 7%
Other 33 16%
Unknown 56 27%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 66 32%
Nursing and Health Professions 19 9%
Psychology 13 6%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 10 5%
Social Sciences 7 3%
Other 24 12%
Unknown 66 32%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 98. 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 11 July 2022.
All research outputs
of 22,831,537 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,320 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 262,636 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 280 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 22,831,537 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 98th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,320 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 30.4. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% 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 262,636 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 98% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 280 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 92% of its contemporaries.