Navigation Links
Antibiotics Don't Help Most Sinus Infections, Study Finds

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Treating a sinus infection with antibiotics doesn't speed recovery, new research shows.

"We did a randomized clinical trial among adults with a clinical diagnosis of acute sinusitis, and found no benefit from the antibiotic compared to the placebo for the treatment of acute sinusitis," said study author Dr. Jane Garbutt, a research associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Still, one in five antibiotic prescriptions for adults in the United States are written for sinus infections, according to the study.

"Acute sinusitis is a miserable disease. People want something to make them feel better, and there are not very many treatment options, so patients ask their doctors for antibiotics. But, we think most of the time, acute sinusitis is a viral infection, so antibiotics won't help," said Garbutt.

Results of the study are published in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus cavities. Pain in the forehead is a common symptom, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Another common symptom of sinusitis is nasal secretions, which may drip down the back of the throat, according to NIAID. Colds and allergies are common causes of sinusitis, though sometimes bacteria are at fault.

Current guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend antibiotics only for those with moderately severe or severe symptoms.

Given the increase of bacteria resistance to antibiotics, the researchers wanted to test their effectiveness, so they looked at 166 adults diagnosed with acute sinusitis. Thirty-six percent of the study volunteers were male and 78 percent were white, according to the study. People with chronic sinusitis (lasting more than 28 days) weren't included, as they may need a different treatment, the authors noted.

Study participants were randomly assigned to receive 10 days' treatment with either 1,500 milligrams of amoxicillin (an antibiotic) spread out over three doses daily or a placebo. All of the volunteers were also given treatments for pain, fever, cough and nasal congestion, and told to use them as needed.

Symptoms and other measures of quality of life were measured in phone interviews at three, seven, 10 and 28 days after starting treatment.

At day three, there was no difference in the symptoms between groups. At day seven, there was a small improvement in the antibiotic group, but Garbutt said the change was likely too small for a patient to even notice a difference in symptoms. At 10 days, there was again no difference in symptoms between the two groups.

By day 10, about 80 percent of those in both groups reported that their symptoms were much improved or cured. At day 28, there was no difference in relapse rates, the researchers said.

Garbutt said there were no statistically significant differences between the groups for other measures, such as the need for medications to relieve symptoms or days of missed work.

"Most people will get better from acute sinusitis on their own, but many people feel if they're not getting an antibiotic, nothing is being done," said Dr. Richard Lebowitz, an otolaryngologist at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City.

He said there are things people can do on their own that may help them feel better faster. Saline irrigation of the sinuses can help, he said, as can decongestant or mucous-thinning medications that are sold over-the-counter.

"The average viral upper respiratory infection lasts one to two weeks, and treatment of symptoms is probably the appropriate treatment up to that point," he said. But, if your infection lasts longer than a week or two, or your symptoms suddenly get significantly worse, you should see your doctor.

"Some people do have bacterial infections, and they can be hard to identify," said Garbutt, who also recommended following up with your doctor if your symptoms don't improve or they suddenly get worse.

More information

Learn more about sinusitis from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

SOURCES: Jane Garbutt, M.B., Ch.B., research associate professor, department of internal medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis; Richard Lebowitz, M.D., otolaryngologist, New York University Langone Medical Center, and associate professor, NYU School of Medicine, New York City; Feb. 15, 2012 Journal of the American Medical Association

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. FDA Curbs Use of Certain Antibiotics in Livestock, Poultry
2. Antibiotics in Pregnancy May Shield Newborns From Strep B
3. More Sore Throats Seen in Acne Patients Taking Antibiotics
4. Preserving lifesaving antibiotics today and for the future
5. Southeast U.S. Still Using High Levels of Antibiotics, Study Shows
6. New method to diagnose sinusitis could reduce use of antibiotics
7. Community storage of anthrax-preventing antibiotics should be determined by state
8. Eye Antibiotics Can Cause Drug-Resistant Bacteria: Study
9. Antibiotics Beat Cranberries at Fighting Urinary Tract Infections in Study
10. Gonorrheas Growing Resistance to Antibiotics Concerns CDC
11. Van Andel Research Institute finding could lead to reduced side effects in anti-cancer antibiotics
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Antibiotics Don't Help Most Sinus Infections, Study Finds
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors ... Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green ... hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of ... recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work ... Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A ... procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that ... but also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, ... the dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity ... who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants ... grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, Inc., ... development and manufacturing of collagen and mineral based ... today that Bill Messer has joined ... to further leverage the growing portfolio of oral ... Bill joins the Collagen Matrix executive ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dublin ... of the " Global Markets for Spectroscopy Equipment" ... This report focuses on the global ... including its applications in various applications. The report deals ... three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and beverage, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... BEIJING , June 24, 2016 Dehaier ... or the "Company"), which develops, markets and sells medical ... China , signed a strategic cooperation agreement with ... as "Hongyuan Supply Chain") on June 20, 2016, to ... Under the strategic cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: