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Antibiotics May Not Help With Certain Sinus Issues: Medicines May Not Be The Answer
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Antibiotics May Not Help With Certain Sinus Issues: Medicines May Not Be the Answer

A new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown how limited the effectiveness of antibiotics are when treating certain types of sinus infections. The study, a follow up of three years of research by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri has found that the most common treatment for rhinosinusitus was no more effective than placebos in treating the condition.

The study, led by Dr. Jane Garbutt, an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics may change the way that doctors treat their patients who present with certain sinus infections.

In the study, nearly two hundred adults were given a random assignment of either ten days of the most commonly prescribed antibiotic for the condition, amoxocillin or a placebo. After three days of treatment both groups were equally improved in condition. In addition, there were no major differences between how many days of work were missed by either of the two groups, the amount of satisfaction that either group felt with their medical care and the potential for relapse.

Amoxicillian and other antibiotics are typically used to care for most sinus infections. While there are some infections that need to be treated with antibiotics, there are others where the treatment is not effective at all. For an infection caused by bacteria, an antibiotic is necessary. For a viral infection, antibiotics are not only ineffective but can also prolong the illness in some cases. Doctors are typically unable to tell the difference between the type of infection based on the symptoms that the patient has presented with.

Dr. Garbutt explained that the antibiotics are typically prescribed because the patients are complaining and miserable and the doctor is stuck between wanting to help them feel better and knowing that the medicine will not be as effective as the patient would hope. In some cases, the doctor can address some of the symptoms to make the patient more comfortable while their body does the work of killing off the infection.

Antibiotics including amoxocillin, account for nearly one prescription in every five that is written for adults in the United States. While some doctors suggest that in the case of bacterial infections the antibiotics are necessary, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are not convinced. In most cases, these infections will typically resolve themselves in ten days or less. Some patients, especially those with underlying nasal structure problems may take longer to recover or may actually need medication.


Street Talk

Using the Neti pot helps many people, but please make sure that you are using sterilized water- bacteria can grow in tap water and then cause serious problems once they are introduced into the nasal passages.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Great Article, I too have problems with sinus that drive me crazy and not to mention that pollen time is coming up. Thank you

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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