Vicks VapoRub® (VVR) is a pharmaceutical preparation containing a combination of levomenthol, eucalyptus oil, turpentine oil and camphor as active ingredients, and thymol, cedarwood oil, and white soft paraffin as excipients. VVR is a petrolatum-based ointment to be either applied topically to the chest, throat, and back or added to hot water and the aromatic vapours inhaled. When used topically, the actives are evaporated by body temperature and inspired. The main therapeutic effects are the feeling of relief from nasal congestion and relief from cough. These were primarily experienced by patients as the trigeminal and olfactory impact of the aromatics and were hypothesized to be experienced within minutes. This was a randomized, single-(Investigator) blind, controlled, 2-arm (VVR vs. petrolatum), parallel design pilot study in 50 otherwise healthy adult patients suffering from common cold and experiencing nasal congestion. Speed to detection of a sensation of nasal cooling and nasal decongestion was assessed following application of the recommended amount of product. The time to first experience of a sensation of nasal cooling was significantly (p < 0.001) faster for patients who received VVR compared to control (median times of 23 and 99 seconds respectively). VVR delivered a statistically significant sensation of nasal cooling at all times from 12 seconds to 15 minutes after product application. The time to first experience of a sensation of nasal decongestion was significantly (p = 0.0102) faster for patients who received VVR compared to control (median times of 62 and 126 seconds respectively). VVR delivered a statistically significant sensation of nasal decongestion at all times from 62 seconds to 15 minutes after product application. No adverse events were reported during the study. Conclusion: Patients using Vicks VapoRub® as directed experienced significant differences from control for sensation of nasal cooling in 12 seconds and the sensation of nasal decongestion in 62 seconds.
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