Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Can I Take Antibiotics For A Sinus Infection

When Do We Need Antibiotics For Sinus Infection

Are antibiotics needed for a sinus infection?

Antibiotics are not needed for many sinus infections, but your doctor can decide if you need an antibiotic. You doctor may recommend antibiotics if:

  • You have symptoms of a bacterial infection and you have not gotten better after 10 days, even with home treatment.
  • You have severe symptoms such as severe headache or facial pain, or you have other problems, such as pus forming in your sinus cavities.
  • You have had sinusitis for 12 weeks or longer .
  • You have a fever longer than 3-4 days.
  • Your symptoms get worse after initially improving.
  • Most sinus infections usually get better on their own without antibiotics. When antibiotics arent needed, they wont help you, and their side effects could still cause harm. Side effects can range from minor issues, like a rash, to very serious health problems, such as antibiotic-resistant infections and C. diff infection, which causes diarrhea that can lead to severe colon damage and death.

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    Will My Sinus Infection Clear Up On Its Own

    The first few weeks of the common cold aren’ fun, but the acute sinusitis that can develop afterwards doesn’t help either. Unfortunately, sinus congestion and the common cold go hand in hand. Acute sinusitis frequently is caused by the common cold, but also can be caused by allergies and bacterial and fungal infections.

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    What Is A Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis

    Inflammation of the air cavities within the passages of the nose is referred to as sinusitis. Sinusitis can be caused by infection , but also can be caused by allergy and chemical irritation of the sinuses. A sinus infection occurs when a virus, bacterium, or fungus grows within a sinus.

    • Sinusitis is one of the more common conditions that can afflict people throughout their lives.
    • Sinusitis commonly occurs when environmental pollens irritate the nasal passages, such as with hay fever.
    • Sinusitis can also result from irritants, such as chemicals or the use and/or abuse of over-the-counter nasal sprays, and
    • illegal substances that may be snorted or inhaled through the nose.

    About 30 million adults have “sinusitis.” Colds differ from sinusitis and are only caused by viruses and last about seven to 10 days while sinusitis may have many different causes , and usually last longer with more pronounced and variable symptoms.

    What Are Complications Of A Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis

    How to Prevent Sinus Infection [Infographic]

    While serious complications do not occur frequently, it is possible for a sinus infection to cause a direct extension of infection into the brain through a sinus wall, creating a life-threatening emergency .

    In addition, other adjacent structures can become infected and develop problems, such as osteomyelitis of bones in the skull and infection around the eye . Rarely, these infections may cause death. The most susceptible individuals to complications are patients with suppressed immune systems, diabetes, and relatively rarely from multiple trauma injuries that may occur in natural disasters.

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    Most Sinus Infections Dont Require Antibiotics

    Ah, sinus infections. The New England Journal of Medicine published a clinical practice review of acute sinus infections in adults, that is, sinus infections of up to four weeks. The need for an updated review was likely spurred by the disconcerting fact that while the vast majority of acute sinus infections will improve or even clear on their own without antibiotics within one to two weeks, most end up being treated with antibiotics.

    It is this discrepancy that has clinical researchers and public health folks jumping up and down in alarm, because more unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics mean more side effects and higher bacterial resistance rates. But on the other hand, while 85% of sinus infections improve or clear on their own, theres the 15% that do not. Potential complications are rare, but serious, and include brain infections, even abscesses.

    Viral Vs Bacterial Sinus Infections

    Most sinus infections are caused by viruses that create inflammation in the sinuses, leading to blockage that can make it hard to breathe, nasal secretions, postnasal drip, and other discomfort like facial pain around your eyes, cheeks, nose, or forehead.

    Knowing thisand that antibiotics dont work on viral infectionsmost healthcare providers first recommend treatments to relieve the symptoms of a sinus infection while you wait for it to resolve.

    These may include:

    • Over-the-counter such as pseudoephedrine
    • Antihistamines
    • Pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease discomfort from swelling, fever, or sore throat

    In rare cases, viral sinus infections can lead to bacterial growth in the nasal passages.

    Theres no way to know for sure if you have a bacterial sinus infection without testing a mucus sample.

    But even without a sample, two signs typically indicate a bacterial infection and may prompt your provider to prescribe antibiotics:

    • A sinus infection that lasts for more than 10 days
    • Symptoms of the infection resolve, then back worse a couple days later

    Some people think yellow or green mucus may be a sign of a bacterial sinus infection, but colored mucus can occur with viral infections and does not necessarily mean you have a bacterial infection.

    If you do have bacterial sinusitis , it should respond to antibiotics within a few days.

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    Feel Better Sooner Without Antibiotics

    Instead of taking antibiotics for sinusitis, Consumer Reports chief medical adviser, Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., recommends that you get plenty of rest, rinse your nose with a saltwater sinus rinse or spray, drink warm fluids, and inhale steam from a hot bath, shower, or kettle. For pain, he says, try an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen .

    If needed, your doctor can prescribe a prescription corticosteroid spray, such as fluticasone or triamcinolone.A systematic review published in JAMAin 2015 found that after saline irrigation, the second-best treatment for chronic sinusitis was a topical corticosteroid spray for a few days.

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    Why Might Your Doctor Recommend Antibiotics For Sinusitis

    Do Antibiotics Help With Sinus Infections?

    You doctor may recommend antibiotics if:

    • You have symptoms of a bacterial infection and you have not gotten better after 10 days, even with home treatment.
    • Your symptoms are severe, or you have other problems, such as pus forming in your sinus cavities.
    • You have had sinusitis for 12 weeks or longer .

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    Driving Or Operating Heavy Machinery

    This medicine can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness in patients. Immediately after taking Doxycycline Tablet or its substitutes, do not drive or operate any heavy machinery.

    In addition to the above precautions, make sure that you let the doctor if you are-

    • Allergic to drugs such as clarithromycin, erythromycin
    • Having issues in the kidneys, muscles, liver or heart
    • Having a low level of potassium or magnesium
    • Willing to conceive in the future

    Read More:

    Infections & Prednisone Side Effects

    Its the time of the year again, Prednisone Warriors! You might be wondering what you should do if youre around to somebody sneezing, coughing, and exposing you to all sorts of germs? Arent you more likely to get sick because of Prednisone? Is it easy to determine if you have Infections or just Prednisone Side Effects?

    Find out more about what you should and should not worry about by reading this article or by watching the video below.

    First of all, I wanted to share with you what you are most likely to run into with Infections and Prednisone Side Effects. So, prednisone as we all know is an immunosuppressant. I took prednisone to decrease my immune systems attack on my platelets, my blood cells. And one of the things that it also did, was it changed the number of white blood cells. It shifted the way the white blood cells showed up when they would test my blood. I would have a really high total white blood cell count. But it wasnt because I had an infection. So, it looked like I had an infection all the time.

    If you just went by that one number. If you werent a really highly trained doctor, you wouldnt know that you have to look at all of the other little counts of the white blood cells to know whether it was an infection or not.

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    Recommendations For Nonantimicrobial Therapy

    Intranasal steroids have not been conclusively shown to be of benefit in cases of acute sinusitis. One meta-analysis of 4 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of intranasal corticosteroid treatment in acute rhinosinusitis supports its use as monotherapy or as an adjuvant therapy to antibiotics. However, a randomized, controlled trial of antibiotics and intranasal steroid showed no treatment benefit of intranasal steroids, either alone or with antibiotics.

    In a literature study, van Loon et al concluded that only limited evidence exists regarding the efficacy of intranasal corticosteroids in relieving the symptoms of recurrent acute rhinosinusitis. The best evidence, according to the investigators, came from a single study, which had a low bias risk but only moderate directness of evidence according to that report, intranasal corticosteroids may shorten the time needed to achieve symptom relief.

    No available data suggest that antihistamines are beneficial in acute sinusitis. In fact, antihistamines may cause harm by drying mucous membranes and decreasing clearance of secretions. Antihistamines are beneficial for reducing ostiomeatal obstruction in patients with allergies and acute sinusitis however, they are not recommended for routine use for patients with acute sinusitis. Antihistamines may complicate drainage by thickening and pooling sinonasal secretions.

    How Can You Treat Sinusitis Without Antibiotics

    What Can I Take For A Sinus Infection

    Whether sinusitis is caused by bacteria or by a virus, most people get better even if they don’t take antibiotics.1 Home treatment for sinusitis can help relieve your symptoms. Here are some things you can do:

    • Drink plenty of fluids to thin your mucus.
    • Apply moist heat to your face for 5 to 10 minutes. Do this at least 3 times a day.
    • Breathe warm, moist air from a steamy shower, a hot bath, or a sink filled with hot water.
    • Use saltwater nasal washes to help keep your nasal passages open and to wash out mucus and bacteria. You can buy saline nose drops or sprays at a pharmacy or make your own saline solution at home. If you make saline at home, use distilled water or water that has been boiled and then cooled. You may also find it helpful to gargle with warm salt water.
    • Ask your doctor if you can take over-the-counter medicines such as pain relievers and decongestants to help you feel better. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If you need to blow your nose, do it gently. Blowing your nose too hard may force thick mucus back into your sinuses. Keep both nostrils open when you blow your nose.

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    How Well Do Antibiotics Work For Sinusitis

    Antibiotics work in most cases of acute sinusitis that are caused by bacteria. Most people start feeling better 3 to 4 days after they start taking the medicine.

    Antibiotics wont work for infections caused by a virus. Over-the-counter medicines and home treatment can help you feel better.

    Taking antibiotics you dont need wont help you feel better, cure your infection, or keep others from catching your infection. And if you take antibiotics too often, they may not work when you really do need them.

    Common but mild side effects of antibiotics include:

    • Upset stomach.

    Whether sinusitis is caused by bacteria or by a virus, most people get better even if they dont take antibiotics.footnote 1 Home treatment for sinusitis can help relieve your symptoms. Here are some things you can do:

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    Research Into Antibiotics And Sinus Infections

    The guidelines were triggered, in part, by studies finding that antibiotics may not make a difference. About 60% to 70% of people with sinus infections recover without antibiotics, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

    In one study of symptom relief, patients given antibiotics generally did no better than patients not given antibiotics.

    This study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, observed 240 patients with sinusitis. They were given one of four treatments: antibiotics alone, nasal steroid spray alone to reduce tissue swelling, both antibiotics and the spray, or no treatment.

    Patients who got no treatment were as likely to get better than those who got the antibiotics. The nasal spray seemed to help people with less severe symptoms at the beginning of their sinus problem, and seemed to make those with more intense congestion worse.

    The patients all had sinus symptoms that suggested a bacterial infection. Sinus problems are also caused by viruses, for which antibiotics definitely offer no help.

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    Some Steps You Can Take

    Whether your sinus infection turns out to be viral or bacterial, you can help to ease your symptoms early on with supportive sinus care:

  • Use saline spray two to three times per day in each nostril.
  • Use a nasal decongestant such as AfrinĀ®, but not longer than three days.
  • Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve the swelling of your sinuses.
  • If your symptoms arent improving after one week, its important to see your doctor. If a bacterial infection is suspected, youll probably need to take an antibiotic to clear up the infection and prevent further complications.

    If your infections occur more frequently, and your doctor really wants to establish if they are bacterial or viral, your Otolaryngologist or ear, nose and throat doctor can sample the snot from your nose when youre infected and send it to a laboratory to know for sure.

    Note: Antibiotics wont help a viral infection, and taking an antibiotic unnecessarily can do more harm than good. You risk possible side effects and increase your chances of developing antibiotic resistance, which can make future infections harder to treat, says Dr. Sindwani. So its important to wait and see how long your symptoms last.

    Sinus Infection Treatment Timeline With Antibiotics

    Discussion with a patient with sinusitis who requests antibiotics

    Our sinuses are hard to reach, so it can be two to three days before antibiotic treatment begins to take effect.

    It is critical to continue the whole course of antibiotics, even if you start to feel better. If you dont finish the whole course, your body could begin to build a resistance to those antibiotics. This makes future treatment more difficult.

    Sometimes, patients experience negative side effects while taking antibiotics. If you experience rash, hives or have difficulty breathing while taking antibiotics, call your doctor immediately. You may be experiencing an allergic reaction. In older adults, some types of antibiotics may cause inflammation in tendons.

    In addition to clearing your sinuses of infection, antibiotics also work in other parts of your body, particularly the gut. This could cause diarrhea, so you may want to take a probiotic as well.

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    Schedule An Exam With A Local Ent

    Are you tired of chronic, recurring sinus infections? Then its time to talk to a specialist about your treatment options. Our team provides the individualized care that you deserve, including one-on-one treatment with an ENT. We get to the root of the problem with an accurate diagnosis, then custom-design a treatment plan based on the unique needs of each patient.

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    When Antibiotics Are Appropriate Treatment

    Antibiotics may be given to people who are less able to fight off infection, such as those with diabetes, or serious heart or lung disease.

    In addition, antibiotics can be given to those whose symptoms have gotten worse or those who show no improvement after seven days.

    If antibiotics are given, a 10- to 14-day course is recommended, according to the practice guidelines. Amoxicillin or amoxicillin clavulanate are typically the first choice for people who are not allergic to penicillin.

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    If You Think You Have A Sinus Infection

    If you feel you are experiencing sinus infection symptoms, make an appointment with your PartnerMD physician, and do not attempt to treat symptoms on your own. While you may initially be recommended OTC treatments, only your doctor can accurately diagnose your symptoms, and prescribe the right treatment for relief.

    Have a question about your sinus infection symptoms? Contact us today to see if a relationship with a concierge doctor could be beneficial.

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    Risk Of Unnecessary Antibiotics For Sinus Infections

    Pin by Elizabeth M :) on school in 2020

    Taking unnecessary antibiotics for a sinus infection is not only ineffectual, but can actually be harmful to the patient. Risks of taking unneeded antibiotics include:

    • Increased chance of getting an antibiotic-resistant infection at a later time
    • Destruction of healthy stomach bacteria, which can allow harmful bacteria to grow
    • Possible side effects, such as upset stomach, rash, or dizziness
    • Allergic reaction

    According to studies conducted by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology , 60-70% of patients with sinus infections fully recover without the use of antibiotics. Additional research shows that almost 90% of U.S. adults diagnosed with acute sinusitis are prescribed antibiotics.

    This overuse of antibiotics for sinus infections, as well as other conditions, can lead to antibiotic resistance, a state in which bacteria change over time as a reaction to antibiotic treatment, in order to survive and multiply, thus making the antibiotics less effective.

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