Does Your Child Need Antibiotics For A Sinus Infection
- Infectious disease specialists agree on the following criteria for treating sinus infections with antibiotics:
- Symptoms lasting for 10 days or more and not improving
- Symptoms with fever over 102 degrees lasting for 3-4 days in a row
- Cold symptoms lasting 5-6 days that improved but were then followed by new fever, headache, cough, nasal discharge or facial pain
- Xrays are NOT accurate for diagnosing sinusitis. They can result in both under-diagnosis and over-diagnosis. The best test to detect the presence of infection is a CT scan of the sinuses.
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How It Works: The Infamous Z
We have all been to the doctors office at some point in our lives with some of the following symptoms: cough, nasal congestion, sore throat, maybe even a low-grade fever, aka the crud. You would often go home with a decongestant, possibly a steroid pack, or maybe a Z-pak. We often tend to take these meds without question, sometimes even requesting them before the office visit even starts because we just want some relief or have become so conditioned to that scenario. In this How It Works entry, I would like to discuss what the Z-Pak is, does, and doesnt do, and why maybe next time youre getting treated for a cold you can feel empowered to ask: what bacteria are you treating with this?
So, what is a Z-pack actually? Unfortunately, many patients dont know or arent told that the Z in Z-pak stands for azithromycin, which is a powerful macrolide antibiotic. All medicines in this class work by stopping bacteria reproduction, eventually killing the population, and curing the infection. Since this is an antibiotic, it has no use for any viral disease. We commonly use it to treat strep throat, skin infections, community-acquired pneumonia, some sexually transmitted infections, and more. What it will not treat is the common cold, allergies, the flu, Covid-19, or any other viral infection .
Azithromycin Vs Amoxicillin: Differences Similarities And Which Is Better For You
If you have ever suffered from a bacterial sinus infection or a variety of other types of bacterial infections, chances are you have taken an antibiotic. Azithromycin and amoxicillin are two of the most common antibiotics used in the treatment of bacterial infections. Antibiotics are used in the treatment of bacterial infections, and will not work for viral infections such as the flu or common cold.
Azithromycin is also known by its brand name Zithromax . It is classified in a group of medications called macrolide antibiotics. Azithromycin works by binding to the bacteria and preventing the bacteria from producing proteins that it needs to survive. Azithromycin is commonly used to treat bacterial infections like sinus infections, pneumonia, and certain sexually transmitted diseases, to name a few.
Amoxicillin is known by its brand name of Amoxil, and it is classified in a group of medications called penicillin antibiotics. Amoxicillin works by preventing bacteria from forming cell walls, which kills the bacteria. Amoxicillin is commonly used to treat bacterial infections such as ear infections, pneumonia, and throat infections, among others.
Although both medications are antibiotics, they have many differences. Continue reading to learn more about azithromycin and amoxicillin.
Are There Alternatives To Z
The medications clarithromycin or are sometimes used as alternatives to the Z-Pak, according to Chirag Shah, MD, board-certified emergency medicine physician and co-founder of Push Health. However, these alternatives will not always work to treat the infection for which the Z-Pak was prescribed in the first place, and consultation with ones medical provider is recommended before changing medications.
Usual Adult Dose For Skin And Structure Infection
Immediate-release: 500 mg orally as a single dose on day 1, followed by 250 mg orally once a day on days 2 to 5Use: Treatment of mild to moderate uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections due to Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, or Streptococcus agalactiaeIDSA and NIH Recommendations:Immediate-release:Patients greater than 45 kg: 500 mg orally on day 1, then 250 mg orally once a day on days 2 through 5Patients less than 45 kg: 10 mg/kg orally on day 1, then 5 mg/kg orally once a day for 4 additional daysAlternative therapy for Bartonella infections : 500 mg orally once a day for at least 3 monthsUses:-Treatment of bacillary angiomatosis and cat scratch disease-Alternative therapy for Bartonella infections
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When Does Antibiotic Resistance Occur
Antibiotic resistance occurs in a persons own body and within the community when certain drugs no longer work for a specific type of germ. This can occur when bacteria change in response to exposure to antibiotics so that the antibiotics no longer work efficiently against the bacteria.
Unfortunately, itâs hard to know if a sinus infection is bacterial, viral, or has other causes based on symptoms alone. Because viral sinus infections tend to improve in 5 to 7 days, healthcare providers will usually only prescribe antibiotics if your symptoms go on for longer than this. A sinus infection that persists for longer than a week or continues to get worse during this time period is more likely to be bacterial.
Therefore, allergists and other specialists recommend limiting the use of antibiotics unless:
- Symptoms last over seven to 10 days
- A fever is present
Why Won’t My Sinus Infection Go Away With Antibiotics
Why Won’t My Sinus Infection Go Away with Antibiotics? There are few reasons that antibiotics may be ineffective for sinusitis. Antibiotics are only capable of killing bacteria, so inflammation from other sources can’t be managed by them. Sinusitis is often a result of a viral infection like a cold or the flu…. continue reading
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Sinus Infection Z Pack
There is a home remedy for sinus infection that may help alleviate your sinus pain and make your symptoms go away. The Z-pack consists of four parts, which include the reusable polypropylene Ziploc, a moldable plastic disc, saline solution bottle, and a specially designed mold. The Ziploc can be used to compress the nasal passage for instant relief from the pain and pressure caused by inflamed sinuses. Here are some of the symptoms and causes of sinusitis and you will know what the best home remedy for sinus infection is.
What Food Causes Sinus Problems
Food to Avoid Avoid dairy if you have had previous episodes of sinus infections. Also, try to avoid refined sugar as it is pro-inflammatory and increases the production of mucus. Other foods to avoid include tomatoes , chocolate, cheese, gluten, and fruits like bananas, which can cause congestion. view details
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When To See A Doctor
If you have worrying signs of an infection, its best to see your primary care physician before beginning antibiotic treatment using azithromycin.
Many common infections are actually viral, and will resolve on their own without antibiotics.
Azithromycin is not the right treatment for all types of bacterial infections.
Your provider can determine if antibiotics are needed at all, which antibiotics are safe and effective for your infection, and what dosage will work best.
If you have already begun using azithromycin and are not seeing improvement in your symptoms or are getting worse, speak to your healthcare provider.
So What Happened To Z
To be clear, nothing really happened to Z-Packs specifically, Dr. Vyas says. Theyre still around and still frequently prescribed to treat a few specific conditions. But lots of things happened around Z-Packs over the last several years that made doctors realize that their prescribing practices werent quite right.
In fact, in many ways, the rise and fall of the Z-Pack is simply a reflection of the way our understanding of antibiotics as a whole has developed in the past decade. We now know so much more about which antibiotics are best used for which illnesses, how the overuse of antibiotics contributes to antibiotic resistance, and the what the optimal time course is for various antibiotics. All of this resulted in Z-Packs becoming a bit less unique and less suited for some common illnesses.
The first big factor in the waning of Z-Pack popularity was that our developing understanding of antibiotic resistance made doctors wary about handing out Z-Packs so frequently for seemingly every minor health issue that might have a bacterial cause. They were being given out like candy, Dr. Vyas says.
When bacteria are resistant to a medication, doctors need to use a different antibiotic to treat the infection. Thats concerning because we have a limited number of antibiotic options available. And the ones we can use against antibiotic-resistant strains can cause serious side effects or arent necessarily the best options to use .
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What Is Azithromycin Z
Azithromycin Z Pak is the brand name for the prescription drug azithromycin. Its a macrolide-type antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections.
As a macrolide-type antibiotic, this prescription drug acts by halting the growth of bacteria.
This bacteriostatic action works effectively against a wide variety of bacteria, such as :
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Mycoplasma pneumonia
- Streptococcus pneumonia
This antibiotic is commonly used to treat respiratory infections like bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinusitis, and its also used to treat skin, soft tissue, and ear infections.
Sometimes, healthcare providers may prescribe this drug off-label to treat other infections like Lyme disease, chlamydia, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
The discovery of this medication dates way back to 1980, when Pliva, a Croatian pharmacological company, first synthesized this drug.
The Food and Drug Administration endorsed azithromycin for medical use in 1991. Since its conception, this drug has helped countless patients recover from bacterial infections.
How K Health Can Help
Dont take antibiotics without your doctors prescription.
Fortunately, seeing a doctor doesnt have to be expensive.
Did you know you can get affordable primary care with the K Health app?
to check your symptoms, explore conditions and treatments, and if needed, text with a doctor in minutes. K Healths AI-powered app is HIPAA compliant and based on 20 years of clinical data.
What Are The Side
Side-effects are not very common but some people may experience indigestion like symptoms, loose stools, nausea and vomiting.
Serious side-effects are also very rare and may include blurring of vision, reduced hearing, difficulty speaking and swallowing and occasionally problems with the liver. If you encounter any of these symptoms, please make sure you inform your physician straightaway.
Allergic responses to antibiotics are a known phenomenon and azithromycin is no exception. If an allergic response develops, seek medical attention immediately.
How Long Can A Fever Last With Sinus Infection
When to see the doctor for sinus infection Symptoms that last more than 10 days without improvement and are worsening after you started to improve is cause for concern. If you have symptoms like severe headache or facial pain and a fever that lasts longer than three to four days, you should seek immediate medical care.
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What Are The Best Antibiotics For Sinus Infection Do Doctors Prescribe For You
There are many antibiotics that your doctor or physician may prescribe to help treat your sinus infection. Some of these may even be familiar to you.
These antibiotics are effective in treating sinus infection, however, these drugs do carry side effects. You should only be taken according to what your doctor or physician has prescribed. Always follow their instructions to achieve the best results.
What Are The Most Common Antibiotics Used For Sinusitis
Amoxicillin remains the drug of choice for acute, uncomplicated bacterial sinusitis. Amoxicillin is most effective when given frequently enough to sustain adequate levels in the infected tissue. While often prescribed twice daily, it is even more effective if taken in 3 or 4 divided doses. Amoxicillin is typically prescribed for 7-10 days at a time. While it is critical to finish the entire 10 day course of antibiotics when treating strep throat, there is evidence that shorter courses of treatment may be sufficient for most cases of sinusitis. Amoxicillin is closely related to the parent compound penicillin and should not be prescribed in patients who are penicillin allergic.
Cephalosporins and Augmentin are considered broad-spectrum antibiotics because they have enhanced effectiveness against a wider range of bacteria, including those that are resistant to ordinary penicillin or amoxicillin. If the patient does not improve within the first week on amoxicillin, a change to Augmentin or to a cephalosporin such as Ceftin, Cefzil, Omnicef, or Suprax is reasonable. Although these drugs have a similar mechanism of action to penicillin, they generally can be taken in adequate doses once or twice daily. These medications should be used with extreme caution in patients with a history of penicillin allergy, as cross-reaction may occur.
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How To Take Azithromycin
Use Azithromycin exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Azithromycin oral is taken by mouth. Azithromycin injection is given as an infusion into a vein, usually for 2 days before you switch to azithromycin oral. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
You may take azithromycin oral with or without food.
Shake the oral suspension before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device .
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication. Azithromycin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Throw away any unused liquid medicine after 10 days.
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
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How Should Augmentin Be Taken
- The usual adult dose is one 500-mg tablet of Augmentin every 12 hours or one 250-mg tablet of Augmentin every 8 hours. For more severe infections and infections of the respiratory tract, the dose should be one 875-mg tablet of Augmentin every 12 hours or one 500-mg tablet of Augmentin every 8 hours. Adults who have difficulty swallowing may be given the 125 mg/5 mL or 250 mg/5 mL suspension in place of the 500-mg tablet. The 200 mg/5 mL suspension or the 400 mg/5 mL suspension may be used in place of the 875-mg tablet.
- Two 250-mg tablets of Augmentin should not be substituted for one 500-mg tablet of Augmentin. Since both the 250-mg and 500-mg tablets of Augmentin contain the same amount of clavulanic acid , two 250-mg tablets are not equivalent to one 500-mg tablet of Augmentin.
- The 250-mg tablet of Augmentin and the 250-mg chewable tablet should not be substituted for each other, as they are not interchangeable. The 250-mg tablet of Augmentin and the 250-mg chewable tablet do not contain the same amount of clavulanic acid . The 250-mg tablet of Augmentin contains 125 mg of clavulanic acid, whereas the 250-mg chewable tablet contains 62.5 mg of clavulanic acid.
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When Do We Need Antibiotics For 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:
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.
How Long Should It Take For A Z
Question posted by kathyhanson on 3 April 2013
I take the last of the Z-Pak tomorrow. The doctor gave me an injection of antibiotic and steroid on Monday. Still can strongly smell the infection. It is making me extremely nauseated. The sinus headache is horrible. Also using the normal saline nose spray. I canÃ¢t decide if it is too soon to call doctor or if I should finish the antibiotics and wait a couple of days. IÃ¢m also doing my Hizentra infusion today. Maybe the boost for my immune system will help. Any thoughts?
Hello. Am behind in reading emails and saw yours. I also get sinus problems and am on prednisone for eight years. I no longer bother with the Z pak. It doesnÃ¢t help. I doubt it is less strong. We think it no longer targets the right bacteria. Also, They have found that those nasty stinky fluids are caused by a virus and must run their course. Nasal wash helps, not just a spray. Take Mucinex Expectorant which is guiafinasen and usually works with all meds. You can get it as a prescription or over the counter. It helps relieve the pressure.
Thanks Karen, I had to get a round of Levaquin when I finished the Z-Pak. Doing great now. I wish a few days of medication would cure all of our other ails!! All of the antibiotics/steroids gave me thrush. Yuk! Finally have everything cleared up. Take care,Kathy
Aw, shucks! You are so kind.
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