Cystic fibrosis

Some evidence for mannitol in CF: Cochrane

Thursday, 15 Oct 2015


People with cystic fibrosis who are treated with inhaled dry powder mannitol over a six-month period have improvements in some measures of lung function, a Cochrane review concludes.  

However there was no evidence to suggest an associated improvement in quality of life, found the review of four studies involving 667 people.

Treatment with mannitol led to a 29% drop in the number of flare ups of disease, although the actual reduction was imprecise (ranging from 2% to 49%)  creating uncertainty around how clinically meaningful this was, the review authors said.

Mannitol as a single or concomitant treatment to dornase alfa may be of benefit to people with cystic fibrosis, but further research is required to determine who may benefit most and whether benefit was sustained in the longer term, the research group said.

Mannitol could be considered as a treatment in cystic fibrosis; however, studies comparing its efficacy against other (established) mucolytic therapies need to be undertaken before it can be considered for mainstream practice, they concluded. 

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