The results of a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology , suggest the cardiac drug verapamil may be an effective treatment for chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP).
In the study of 18 patient, verapamil improved both endoscopic features and clinical symptoms in patients with CRSwNP. Sino-nasal outcome test (SNOT-22) and Lund-Kennedy endoscopic scores were significantly reduced. Effects were decreased in patients with higher BMI and mucus P-glycoprotein levels.
As a caution, a low dose of 80mg three times/day, was used. Based on the limited effects in some patients, the dose was determined to be insufficient for a large proportion and the trial was terminated early.
However, senior author, Benjamin S Bleier, assistant professor of otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School, described the findings as promising.
“Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps is among our most challenging diagnoses to treat, because these patients essentially have chronic, lifelong inflammation that needs chronic, lifelong treatment,” he said Dr Bleier. “We observed no significant side effects at the doses we used, and we are very encouraged by the results of this first step toward a more targeted therapy for our patients.”