Monday, November 28, 2022

Can I Take Antibiotics For Sinus Infection

The Science Behind Pseudoephedrine

Do Antibiotics Help With Sinus Infections?

When you have a cold or an allergy attack, your white blood cells gather in your nasal passages and sinuses. This causes nasal membranes to swell and increases mucus production. Pseudoephedrine constricts these blood vessels, which decreases drainage.

But those same constricted vessels might also increase your blood pressure and heart rate.

Pharmacist Kayla Ryan explains the mechanism of pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine is chemically similar to adrenaline, so the body recognizes it as adrenaline, causing the blood pressure and heart rate to increase.

She refers to one of the last major studies of the effects of pseudoephedrine on blood pressure, which took place in 2005. This study found that pseudoephedrine increased systolic blood pressure by one point on average, while heart rate increased by an average of three beats per minute.

Ryan adds that the immediate-release products had a greater impact on heart rate and blood pressure than their 12 hour or 24 hour extended-release counterparts, which showed a smaller increase in blood pressure.

In 2005, the FDA passed the Combat Methamphetamine Act, which requires pharmacies to sell all medications containing pseudoephedrine behind the counter. At your local drugstore, youll find cards in the cold and flu aisle with information for these medications. You can take the card to the pharmacist, who is required to scan your drivers license before purchase.

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When Do I Need Antibiotics For Sinus Infection

  • Oyewale Oyelami

Do I need antibiotics for sinus infection? Using antibiotics to treat a sinus infection depends on what caused the infection- a virus or a bacterium. Doctors wont prescribe an antibiotic if your sinus infection starts because of a virus. So lets dive into this a bit more.

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Do Antibiotics Treat Sinus Infections

Antibiotics are a type of medication that stops bacteria from growing and, as a result, improves symptoms of an infection.

Healthcare providers only prescribe antibiotics for sinus infections that they believe are bacterial.

Antibiotics dont work on viral or fungal infections, and taking antibiotics when you dont need them can cause unnecessary side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain.

Plus, taking antibiotics too often can create antibiotic resistance.

The most common antibiotics prescribed for sinus infections are penicillin-class antibiotics such as amoxicillin or amoxicillin-clavulanate .

If you have a penicillin allergy, a common alternative is doxycycline.

Read Also: Does A Sinus Infection Clear Up On Its Own

When Did You First Start Experiencing Sinus Issues Why Did You Decide To Try Virtuwellcom

I had been experiencing pain, congestion and other issues with my sinuses for well over a week. I had considered going to clinic, but the idea of dragging all of the boys along with me sounded horrible. I remembered my husband used virtuwell.com for his sinus infection last year and within a few days he was feeling better.

While making dinner, I logged onto virtuwell.com. It took me about 10 minutes to answer the questions about my condition and medical historywith at least 5 interruptions from the boys. I got my treatment plan soon after, which told me I had a bacterial sinus infection and a prescription was being sent to our Pharmacy in about an hour.

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Here Are 5 Things You Should Do If You Have A Virus

  • Rest. Rest is what your body needs so your immune system can have the energy it needs to fight the virus.
  • Eat healthy foods. We know that you may not have much of an appetite if you have a virus, but your body needs healthy food to give you the nutrients you need to stop the virus. Avoid the temptation to eat sugary comfort foods.
  • Hydrate. Its very important that you keep your fluid intake, even if you dont feel thirsty. Water and other fluids can help dilute your mucus secretions. Avoid alcoholic drinks and those with caffeine.
  • Alleviate some symptoms with medication. While antibiotics wont have any effect on a virus, there are some over-the-counter medications that may help ease your symptoms. Talk to us. Well be happy to give you information and suggestions.
  • Stay at home!This is the time to take one of your sick days. Dont go to work or school if you have a virus. Depending upon the type of illness you have, you may still be contagious. Your coworkers will appreciate your staying home. If that is not a possibility, speak to your supervisor about working remotely.
  • How To Treat Sinus Infections Without Antibiotics

    While sinus infections caused by viruses, allergies, or other non-bacterial factors may not require antibiotics, they still cause the same symptoms which make you feel sick.

    Symptoms of a sinus infection include:

    • Nasal congestion
    • Pain or tenderness around the eyes, cheeks, or forehead
    • Thick nasal or post-nasal drainage

    Taking steps to alleviate your sinusitis symptoms is often the best treatment to lessen your discomfort.

    Sinus infection treatment options include:

    • Drink plenty of fluids
    • Rest, especially the first few days, to help your body fight the infection
    • Moisturize the air with a cool-mist vaporizer
    • Elevate your head while sleeping to decrease post-nasal drip
    • Take warm showers or baths, as steam can soothe your sore throat and loosen mucus
    • Gargle with warm salt water for a sore throat
    • Use saline nasal spray or nasal irrigation kit to alleviate congestion
    • Use over-the-counter treatments, such as nasal drops and sprays or pseudoephedrine pills, as your doctor recommends them

    What Not to Do for a Sinus Infection

    You should always follow your doctors instructions when you are diagnosed with a sinus infection.

    Do not:

    • Ask for antibiotics if your doctor feels they are unnecessary
    • Take antibiotics that are prescribed for someone else
    • Skip doses of your antibiotics or stop taking your antibiotics early when your doctor prescribes them
    • Save antibiotics for the next time you get sick

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    What Are The Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection

    When should I go to the doctor for a sinus infection? Can a sinus infection go away on its own? Sinus infections can occasionally go away on their own. However, if your sinus infection is caused by bacteria, you will likely need antibiotics. If you have a viral sinus infection, then you dont need antibiotics, which you will need to get from

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    How You Can Treat Sinusitis Yourself

    Discussion with a patient with sinusitis who requests antibiotics

    You can often treat mild sinusitis without seeing a GP by:

    • getting plenty of rest
    • taking painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
    • avoiding allergic triggers and not smoking
    • cleaning your nose with a salt water solution to ease congestion

    If you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better.

  • Boil a pint of water, then leave it to cool.
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into the water.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Stand over a sink, cup the palm of 1 hand and pour a small amount of the solution into it.
  • Sniff the water into 1 nostril at a time. Breathe through your mouth and allow the water to pour back into the sink. Try not to let the water go down the back of your throat.
  • Repeat the first 5 steps up to 3 times a day until your nose feels more comfortable.
  • You do not need to use all of the solution, but make a fresh solution each time you clean your nose.

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    Antibiotics Should Not Be Used To Treat The Majority Of Sinus Infections Nice Says

    NICE is advising healthcare professionals to tell their patients that a sinus infection will likely clear-up without antibiotics and that there is little evidence oral decongestants will help to relieve their symptoms.

    27 October 2017

    The final guidance, developed with Public Health England, makes recommendations for treating acute sinusitis.

    In most cases, people who have sinusitis will start to feel better within two-to-three weeks. The infection is usually viral, which means antibiotics should not be routinely prescribed, the guidance says.

    Instead, NICE says healthcare professionals should advise their patients on how to manage their aches and pains with paracetamol.

    They should also tell them that there is no evidence oral decongestants or steam inhalation will make any difference. And inform them that they should seek further medical advice if their symptoms get worse, or last for more than three weeks.

    Dr Tessa Lewis, GP and chair of the managing common infections guidance committee, said: We know that most people with sinus infections will recover in a couple of weeks without needing any antibiotics, but that doesnt mean we should be sending them home without any information or advice.

    Inappropriate use of antibiotics, such as taking them for viral conditions is known to fuel resistance. Despite this, data has shown antibiotics are given to 91% of people who visit their GP with symptoms of sinusitis.

    Can I Treat A Sinus Infection At Home

    If you have a true sinus infection, you will eventually need to visit a medical professional. But in the early stages you can help ease your symptoms with one or more of these treatments:

  • Irrigation. Gently flushing your nasal passages can help relieve congestion and irritation. It is best to use saline solutions from a pharmacy for flushing through each nostril. If you make your own solution, use filtered, sterile, or distilled water.
  • Hydrate. Drinking plenty of water helps loosen mucus and relieve nasal congestion. Proper hydration is also important in helping your bodys immune system function optimally for a quicker recovery.
  • Steam. Breathing in steam can help open your nasal passages and ease your pain. This can be accomplished over a bowl of warm water or in a hot shower.
  • Rest. Getting adequate rest is vital at all times, especially when your body is fighting a bad cold or infection. You may find that keeping your head elevated will help you breathe better and rest more comfortably.
  • Remember that at-home treatments should be discontinued if symptoms arent improving. A timely visit to the urgent care can help speed recovery and get you feeling better quickly.

    If you are in need of sinus infection treatment and your regular doctor is unavailable, make a visit to M.D. Express Urgent Care. With 6 convenient locations open 7 days a week, The Doctor is Always In!

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    How Can You Help Your Patient

    What to do, then, for patients with acute sinusitis? Treat the symptoms, which means recommending pain medication for facial pain or headache and saline nasal spray for the nasal discharge, not antibiotics or nasal corticosteroids. Side effects will be fewer and costs will be lower.

    • Saline irrigation. A 2007 Cochrane review of 8 chronic and recurrent sinusitis trials showed that nasal saline irrigation is effective for reducing symptoms of chronic and recurrent sinusitis.8 Although we do not have high-quality RCT data on saline nasal irrigation for treatment of acute sinusitis, nasal saline irrigation is harmless and inexpensive.
    • What about nasal steroids? The evidence is equivocal, and the most recent high-quality RCT of nasal steroids showed no effect.9

    Viral Vs Bacterial Sinus Infections

    What to Do When You Have a Sinus Infection

    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:

    • 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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    How Can You Treat Sinusitis Without Antibiotics

    Whether sinusitis is caused by bacteria or by a virus, most people get better even if they dont 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.

    Read Also: Sinus Infection Loss Of Smell And Taste

    Do You Have Chronic Sinus Infections These May Be The Cause

    Does it seem that every other month youre battling your sinuses? If so, theres likely an underlying cause. At Raleigh Capitol Ear, Nose and Throat, our leading otolaryngologists have the information, experience and compassionate care you need.

    Some of the most common causes of chronic sinus infections include:

    A Deviated Septum

    The septum is the part of the nose that divides it into the left and right nostrils. Sometimes, this divider is crooked or may even have a hole in it. Any problems with the septum make it difficult for the sinuses to drain properly.

    Chronic Allergies

    While spring and fall may get the most coverage for worst allergy seasons, problems created by allergens actually go on throughout the year. The most effective treatment is to find the cause of your problems through allergy testing.

    Once we determine the source of your allergies, we can help you through immunotherapy treatment.

    Nasal Polyps

    These are small growths of tissue inside your nose. While they are rarely cancerous, they can cause problems with breathing, even leading to sleep apnea.

    These polyps make it difficult for the sinuses and your nose to drain, setting the stage for chronic infections.

    Recommended Reading: Sinus Infection Drugs Over The Counter

    Symptoms > 1 Week Are Not A Reason To Prescribe

    One very important new finding in this meta-analysis that should change practice is that the duration of illness did not predict a positive response to antibiotics.

    Current national recommendations are to use an antibiotic for patients with a duration of illness longer than 1 week, as these patients are presumably more likely to have a bacterial infection.57 However, that recommendation had been based on expert opinion, not on data from clinical trials. A longer duration of symptoms should not be a reason to prescribe an antibiotic for sinusitis symptoms.

    Driving Or Operating Heavy Machinery

    Wellness Wednesday: Antibiotics for sinus infections?

    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:

    Also Check: Why Does My Sinus Smell Bad

    What Is Sinus Infection

    Medically known as rhinosinusitis, Sinus infection or Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Healthy sinuses are filled with air. But when they become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection. It occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed. Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and often persists even after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. In some cases, bacteria, or rarely fungus, may cause a sinus infection.

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