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Trial registered on ANZCTR

Registration number
Ethics application status
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated
Type of registration
Prospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
Common Treatments for Common Colds: A Pilot Study
Scientific title
In patients with symptoms of the common cold or acute rhinosinusitus, does nasal saline spray, compared to usual care, decrease the duration of general unwellness.
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Squirting Nasal saline Or Routine Treatment Study (SNORT)
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
Common cold and acute rhinosinusitus 243447 0
Condition category
Condition code
Respiratory 239746 239746 0 0
Other respiratory disorders / diseases

Study type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
Nasal saline spray administered at least 4 times per day in addition to usual care (excluding other nasal decongestants) until resolution of symptoms (considered the first day they are no longer troublesome and participants answer "yes" to the question "Are you well again?") or for 6 weeks, whichever comes first.
Intervention code [1] 237065 0
Treatment: Drugs
Comparator / control treatment
Usual care only (excluding other nasal decongestants). Usual care is likely to consist of a combination of common treatments available to relieve symptoms of common cold. These include, but are not limited to, cough lozenges, cough syrup, antibiotics, analgesics, honey and lemon, salt water gargling, rest, intake of fluids etc. Participants will be asked to indicate on their patient diary the treatments they have used each day until resolution of symptoms or for 6 weeks, whichever comes first.
Control group

Primary outcome [1] 240502 0
Number of days until the return of wellness, indicated by the patient's assessment of the first day of wellbeing. Patients will be asked to fill in a patient diary at the end of each day to indicate the severity of their symptoms that day and answer the question "Are you well again?".
Timepoint [1] 240502 0
Days to resolution of symptoms or 6 weeks from day of enrolment in the study, whichever comes first.
Secondary outcome [1] 257056 0
Severity and duration of troublesome nasal stuffiness or rhinorrhea, cough, or malaise. This will be assessed via patient self-report on the severity of symptoms each day on a 4 point scale (0=Normal/not present, 1=Slight problem, 2=Moderate, 3=Severe).
Timepoint [1] 257056 0
Days to resolution or 6 weeks from day of enrolment in the study, whichever comes first.
Secondary outcome [2] 257057 0
antibiotic use - participants will indicate each day on their patient diary whether they took antibiotics that day.
Timepoint [2] 257057 0
Days to resolution or 6 weeks from day of enrolment in the study, whichever comes first.
Secondary outcome [3] 257058 0
acceptabilty and feasibility of study processes to patients, general practitioners and practice nurses. Patient satisfaction with their involvement in the study and, for the nasal saline group, use of the study medication, will be assessed at the time of the final follow-up phone call by asking for patient feedback. GPs and practice staff will similarly be asked to indicate satisfaction with their participation in the study in a telephone or face-to-face conversation.
Timepoint [3] 257058 0
study end

Key inclusion criteria
patients >= 2 years of age presenting to a participating General Practitioner (GP) with common cold with symptoms of runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, cough, lethargy etc, or acute rhinosinusitus. For inclusion, participants must have had symptoms for =5 days and =3 weeks.
Minimum age
2 Years
Maximum age
No limit
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
Patients will not be eligible if they have known or suspected Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); have been, or wish to use steam inhalations; have anatomical abnormalities or physical impairment preventing compliance with study protocol; have cognitive impairment preventing informed consent; or are known to the GP as having other social or medical issues that preclude involvement in this study. Any patient who, subsequent to the recruitment consultation, receives a positive identification of pertussis infection (Whooping Cough) will be excluded from the study.

Study design
Purpose of the study
Allocation to intervention
Randomised controlled trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
Masking / blinding
Blinded (masking used)
Who is / are masked / blinded?

Intervention assignment
Other design features
Not Applicable
Type of endpoint(s)
Statistical methods / analysis

Recruitment status
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment in Australia
Recruitment state(s)

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 237440 0
Government body
Name [1] 237440 0
Primary Health Care Research, Evaluation and Development funding to the Discipline of General Practice.
Address [1] 237440 0
Department of Health and Aging (DOHA)
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601
Country [1] 237440 0
Primary sponsor type
Dr Deborah Askew
Discipline of General Practice
School of Medicine
University of Queensland
Herston Qld 4006
Secondary sponsor category [1] 236929 0
Name [1] 236929 0
Address [1] 236929 0
Country [1] 236929 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Ethics committee name [1] 239567 0
Ethics committee address [1] 239567 0
Ethics committee country [1] 239567 0
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 239567 0
Approval date [1] 239567 0
Ethics approval number [1] 239567 0

Brief summary
The primary purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of adding nasal saline spray to usual care in reducing the symptoms of the common cold and acute rhinosinusitis. It is expected that using nasal saline spray will reduce the severity and duration of symptoms.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 30005 0
Address 30005 0
Country 30005 0
Phone 30005 0
Fax 30005 0
Email 30005 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 13252 0
Deborah Askew
Address 13252 0
Discipline of General Practice
School of Medicine
The University of Queensland
Level 2 Edith Cavell Building
Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH)
Herston QLD 4029
Country 13252 0
Phone 13252 0
+61 7 3365 5449
Fax 13252 0
Email 13252 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 4180 0
Deb Askew
Address 4180 0
Discipline of General Practice
School of Medicine
The University of Queensland
Level 2 Edith Cavell Building
Herston QLD 4029
Country 4180 0
Phone 4180 0
+61 7 3365 5449
Fax 4180 0
Email 4180 0

No information has been provided regarding IPD availability
Summary results
No Results