A randomised controlled trial assessing the efficacy of co-phenylcaine nasal spray in flexible transnasal pharyngolaryngoscopy

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The aim of this study was to assess whether using co-phenylcaine nasal spray before flexible transnasal pharyngolaryngoscopy results in reduced pain and discomfort during the procedure.


This was a randomised controlled trial. Eighty-four patients were randomised to receive either co-phenylcaine nasal spray or placebo nasal spray before performing transnasal flexible pharyngolaryngoscopy. Patient reported outcome measures included pain, discomfort, unpleasantness and willingness to repeat the procedure while clinician reported outcome measures comprised ease of examination and quality of view obtained during the procedure.


There was no statistically significant difference in scores for pain, discomfort, unpleasantness and willingness to repeat the procedure between the co-phenylcaine and placebo groups. On the other hand, ease of examination scores were significantly better for the co-phenylcaine group than for the placebo group.


The majority of patients do not find flexible pharyngolaryngoscopy unpleasant or painful with or without topical nasal anaesthesia. However, the spray does appear to help the examiner in completing a satisfactory assessment.

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