Purpose: Sore throat is a common postoperative complaint. The etiology of postoperative sore throat (POST) is considered the result of damage to airway mucosa after insertion of a laryngeal mask airway device or endotracheal tube. This paper proposes benzydamine hydrochloride (BH), a topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) with additional analgesic and local anesthetic properties, for POST prevention. Source: We systematically searched PubMed, EMBASE™, Cochrane, and other relevant databases for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that investigated the outcome of topical application of BH vs non-application in patients undergoing general anesthesia. Using a random effects model, meta-analyses were conducted to assess the relative risks of the incidence of POST within 24 hr following the surgical procedure. The secondary outcomes included postoperative nausea and vomiting, dry mouth, coughing, and local irritation. Principal findings: We reviewed five trials that included 824 patients in total. Our results indicated that the incidence of POST was significantly reduced in the BH group, with risk ratios (RRs) of 0.37 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.20 to 0.68) at zero to one hour, 0.39 (95% CI: 0.27 to 0.57) at one to two hours, 0.42 (95% CI: 0.22 to 0.81) at four to six hours, 0.29 (95% CI: 0.10 to 0.88) at six to 12 hr, and 0.32 (95% CI: 0.18 to 0.56) at 12 to 24 hr, compared with the control groups. Patients reported local irritation, but no major BH-related complications were observed. Conclusion: Our results indicate that the incidence of POST can be significantly reduced by prophylactic BH topical application to the oral cavity or airway devices. Further RCTs are required to overcome the limitations of heterogeneity and to determine the optimal dosage and application of BH for managing POST.
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