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Randomised controlled trial
Neither ibuprofen nor steam improves symptom control compared with paracetamol in patients with acute respiratory tract infections in primary care
  1. Philipp Schuetz
  1. Medical University Department, Kantonsspital Aarau, Tellstrasse, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Philipp Schuetz, Medical University Department, Kantonsspital Aarau, Tellstrasse, Aarau CH 5001, Switzerland; schuetzph{at}gmail.com

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The achievement of symptom control in patients with respiratory infections is an ongoing challenge, particularly within primary care. Patients and clinicians often view antibiotics, alongside other supportive medication, as the most expeditious intervention to achieve this goal. While we have learnt that antibiotics provide only very limited benefit in cases when bacterial infection is not suspected,1 ,2 the effectiveness of other supportive measures, such as analgesic medication or steam inhalation, remains largely unknown—particularly among adult patients. The choice of treatment modality is important, however, as both of these treatments may cause harm to the patient. In the case of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a recent meta-analysis comparing cardiovascular safety of different medications found increased risk …

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