Treating intrinsic or allergic rhinitis by injecting botulinum toxin (botox) may soon be history, for a new study has shown that sponges soaked in botox are equally effective in treating the condition.
The study offers a potential needle-free treatment to the millions of sneezing and sniffling rhinitis patients.
Rhinitis patients suffer from an inflamed inner lining of their nose, causing itching, congestion and sneezing.
Rainer Laskawi worked with a team of researchers from the University Medical Center Goettingen, Germany, to test the effectiveness of the botox sponge.
"Intrinsic rhinitis affects a lot of patients and can be quite disabling for the patient. Botox injections can help, and we wanted to explore a less invasive alternative," he said.
The researchers inserted sponges into the patients' nostrils for 30 minutes, which were soaked with botox directly after the insertion.
The patients then kept a 'nose diary' for the next twelve weeks, detailing sneezes per day, tissues used and a 'congestion score'.
A group of patients who received the treatment scored better on all aspects.
"We've shown that the minimally invasive application method of BTA with a sponge is a safe, painless method which can lead to a long lasting reduction of nasal hypersecretion," Laskawi said.
The study has been published in BioMed Central's open access journal Head and Face Medicine.