The role of doxycycline in the management of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps

Arjun K. Parasher, Sarah M. Kidwai, Neeraja Konuthula, Erden Goljo, Stephanie Pan, Alok T. Saini, Anthony Del Signore, Alfred Marc Iloreta, Satish Govindaraj, Benjamin D. Malkin

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11 Scopus citations


Introduction: Many theories on the pathophysiology of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP) exist. The most effective management of CRSwNP has not been elucidated. Doxycycline, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, has shown durable effects; however, its efficacy in combination with standard therapy has not been examined. We hypothesized that its addition to the standard anti-inflammatory regimen would improve patient outcomes. Methods: We performed a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial at a tertiary level institution. Patients with moderate or severe CRSwNP were randomized into two groups, each receiving a 20-day course of oral corticosteroids and doxycycline or placebo. The 22-item Sinonasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22), nasal polyp scores, and visual analog scale (VAS) scores were recorded at the initial, 3-, 8- and 12-week visits. Results: 49 patients were enrolled, 24 in the experimental and 25 in the placebo group with 3 moderate disease patients in each group. There were 12 dropouts in the treatment group and 14 in the placebo group. The most common reasons for dropout were severe CRS and asthma exacerbations. There was no significant difference in SNOT-22 scores, nasal polyp scores, and VAS scores between the two arms. Conclusions: Non-surgical management of patients with CRSwNP remains challenging. Our conclusions are limited given the high dropout rate and thus, limited sample size with inadequate power. This study is important, however, because a high dropout rate of mostly severe disease patients may illustrate that this patient population may not be optimally managed with medical therapy alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-472
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • Doxycycline
  • Nasal polyps


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