This study evaluates the efficacy and systemic tolerability of licensed doses of mometasone furoate (Nasonex®) and betamethasone sodium phosphate (Betnesol®) in allergic chronic rhinosinusitis patients. It also assesses the diagnostic accuracy of morning salivary cortisol (MSC) concentrations to screen for adrenal suppression inthese patients.
Forty-eight patients were prospectively randomized to two treatment limbs. Symptom scores and adrenal function assessments were performed immediately prior to commencement and at the end of treatment.
One (4 per cent) mometasone furoate and 14 (58 per cent) betamethasone sodium phosphate patients developed biochemical evidence of adrenal suppression. There were statistically significant (p < 0.005) reductions in symptom scores following treatment, but no significant difference (p > 0.05) between the drug groups regarding post-treatment symptom scores. As a screening tool for iatrogenic adrenal suppression, MSC had a sensitivity of 100 per cent and a specificity of 97 per cent.
This study demonstrates the high risk of developing adrenal suppression secondary to betamethasone sodium phosphate therapy. The salivary cortisol assay is an accurate tool for monitoringadrenal function and is ideally suited to the out-patient setting.