Drooling Reduction Intervention randomised trial (DRI): Comparing the efficacy and acceptability of hyoscine patches and glycopyrronium liquid on drooling in children with neurodisability


Objective: Investigate whether hyoscine patch or glycopyrronium liquid is more effective and acceptable to treat drooling in children with neurodisability.

Design: Multicentre, single-blind, randomised controlled trial.

Setting: Recruitment through neurodisability teams; treatment by parents.

Participants: Ninety children with neurodisability who had never received medication for drooling (55 boys, 35 girls; median age 4 years).

Exclusion criteria: medication contraindicated; in a trial that could affect drooling or management.

Intervention: Children were randomised to receive a hyoscine skin patch or glycopyrronium liquid. Dose was increased over 4 weeks to achieve optimum symptom control with minimal side-effects; steady dose then continued to 12 weeks.

Primary and secondary outcomes: Primary outcome: Drooling Impact Scale (DIS) score at week-4.

Secondary outcomes: change in DIS scores over 12 weeks, Drooling Severity and Frequency Scale and Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication; adverse events; children’s perception about treatment.

Results: Both medications yielded clinically and statistically significant reductions in mean DIS at week-4 (25.0 (SD 22.2) for hyoscine and 26.6 (SD 16) for glycopyrronium). There was no significant difference in change in DIS scores between treatment groups. By week-12, 2647 (55%) children starting treatment were receiving hyoscine compared with 3138 (82%) on glycopyrronium. There was a 42% increased chance of being on treatment at week-12 for children randomised to glycopyrronium relative to hyoscine (1.42, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.95).

Conclusions: Hyoscine and glycopyrronium are clinically effective in treating drooling in children with neurodisability. Hyoscine produced more problematic side effects leading to a greater chance of treatment cessation.

Trial registration numbers: ISRCTN 75287237; EUDRACT: 2013-000863-94; Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency: 17136/0264/001-0003.

Archives of Disease in Childhood 2018; 103(4):371-376