Antibiotics Not Good For Sinus Infections Study Finds
You might have believed that an antibiotic a day can take the sinus infection away, but new research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests it’s just not true.
Treating a common type of sinus infection called rhinosinusitus with the antibiotic amoxicillin won’t reduce symptoms any faster than a placebo will, according to research published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Over the course of three years, 166 adults were randomized to receive either a 10-day course of amoxicillin or a placebo. After three days, both groups showed the same level of improvement, the study found.
The researchers also found no difference in the number of missed workdays, the level of treatment satisfaction and whether patients relapsed after treatment.
Antibiotics are commonly used to all types of sinus infections, even though the evidence supporting their effectiveness is limited.
“I think patients feel awful, and they want something to feel better quickly,” said Dr. Jane Garbutt, research associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “And physicians want to treat the patient. Everyone is between a rock and a hard place.”
Antibiotics for sinusitis account for one in five antibiotic adult prescriptions in the United States.
“We need more studies to try to identify what helps treat infections and factors that help doctors identify which patients have the bacterial infection,” said Garbutt.
Sinus Infections Can Cause Great Discomfort And Pain Trust The Professionals At Doc
If youve been experiencing congestion that interrupts your day and keeps you up at night, and if cold or flu medications just havent been working for you, then you might have a sinus infection. Youve been waiting a long while for the symptoms to go away, so you owe it to yourself to get proper treatment today.
For sinus infection treatment in Laredo TX, come see us here at DOC-AID Urgent Care. We can treat you effectively and immediately, with no appointment required. Come see us today for on-the-spot service.
Help For Sinus Infection Sufferers
When I lean forward, I feel as though a brick got dropped inside my head. If this uncomfortable description sounds familiar, you may have a sinus infection. Also called sinusitis or acute rhinosinusitis, a sinus infection occurs when the tissue in the cavities around our sinuses swell. The swelling blocks the nasal passages , so the natural nasal fluid cant drain normally. The mucus gets trapped, fills up the sinus cavities, and can become infected.
One of the concerns during cold and flu season is having your condition worsen into something like a sinus infection. You can get a sinus infection from a virus or bacteria. Antibiotics may help only if the infection was caused by bacteria, not a virus such as the flu or a cold.
In many ways a sinus infection may feel like other illnesses. But feeling extra tired could be a tell-tale sign that you might have something more than seasonal allergies. Other symptoms include:
- no sense of taste or smell
- trouble sleeping
- pain or pressure in or around the face and head
- swelling around the nose or eyes
- thick, sometimes discolored mucus
- cough, especially at night
One of the most effective ways to avoid a sinus infection or other upper respiratory infection is to keep your hands away from your face. You also want to wash your hands often with hot, soapy water . If youre already under the weather, be sure to get plenty of rest to help keep your illness from progressing to something worse.
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What Will My Online Appointment Be Like
Appointments usually take between five to thirty minutes depending on the individual need. The online doctor will ask for a description of your symptoms. This will allow them to determine the best course of treatment. If necessary, they may recommend a follow-up appointment or a visit to a physical clinic.
How Are Tooth Infections Treated
To treat a tooth infection, a dentist will typically do one of the following: Open up and drain the abscess, perform a root canal, or pull the affected tooth. A doctor can also prescribe antibiotics to kill the infection before the tooth is dealt with by the dentist, to prevent the bacteria from spreading.
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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.
What Matters Most To You
Your personal feelings are just as important as the medical facts. Think about what matters most to you in this decision, and show how you feel about the following statements.
Reasons to take antibiotics for sinusitis
Reasons not to take antibiotics
I know I have a bacterial infection that is causing my sinusitis.
A virus is causing my sinusitis.
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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.
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Common Antibiotics For Sinus Infections
Antibiotics may be prescribed when symptoms of a sinus infection warrant such treatment. Common antibiotics for sinus infection include:
- Levaquin : Although this drug is often prescribed as a first line of therapy for sinusitis, it has serious side effects and should only be used as a last resort.
What Treatment Options Are Available For A Sinus Infection
Often the infection gets better without the need for treatment, but if it doesnt then antibiotics may be prescribed. Home remedies include:
- Using a decongestant nasal spray
- Inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water to ease congestion
- Placing a warm compress over the sinus to relieve pressure.
- Irrigating the nasal passages with a saline solution
- Staying rested and hydrated
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Side Effects Of Antibiotics
Each antibiotic medication has its own side effects. Generally, side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal discomfort may be experienced by some people. Others may have an allergic reaction, such as a rash, itchiness or breathlessness. If you have persistent or worsening side effects or suspect you are allergic to antibiotics then tell your doctor. It is also worth noting that antibiotics are not specific – they will also destroy the good bacteria that normally live in the body such as those in your intestine.
If you have an infection, your doctor will carefully consider your case and balance the benefits and risks of treatment before prescribing antibiotics.
Reviewed by: Dr Junaid Patel Date: 26 September 2019Next review: 25 September 2021All UK registered doctors can have their registration checked on The Medical Register at the GMC website.
Are There Over The Counter Antibiotics
There are some antibiotics available over the counter. The most common antibiotics available over the counter are antibiotic creams and ointments such as Neosporin, meant for disinfecting minor cuts. Prescription antibiotics such as azithromycin, cephalexin, and clindamycin are not available over the counter. You will need to meet with a doctor for most oral antibiotics used to treat common bacterial infections like UTIs, sinus infections, ear infections, and others.
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Risk Of Unnecessary Antibiotics For Sinus Infections
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.
Why Are Antibiotics Important
Antibiotics are one of the most common classifications of drugs used to treat bacterial infections. Since their introduction to the world of medicine, they have helped treat countless people, especially those with infectious diseases.
Antibiotics are very crucial during surgeries and are used to prevent patients from getting any infections from the cut. Without antibiotics, there is a higher chance of blood poisoning and the more complicated surgeries would not be possible to perform.
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Key Points To Remember
- Sinusitis is an infection or inflammation of the lining of the sinuses. Most people who get sinusitis have a cold first. Sinusitis usually goes away on its own.
- Sinusitis is usually caused by a , so antibiotics won’t help. Over-the-counter medicines and home treatment can help you feel better.
- Antibiotics do work if sinusitis is caused by . But you may not need to take them. Most people get better even if they don’t take antibiotics.
- Taking antibiotics too often or when you don’t need them can be harmful. The medicine may not work the next time you take it when you really do need it. This is called .
- Antibiotics have side effects. The most common ones include upset stomach, diarrhea, and belly pain. Antibiotics can also lead to vaginal yeast infections.
How Long Does A Sinus Infection Last
Sinus infections can last several days. Viral sinus infections are usually most severe three to six days after they start, and then begin to improve by day 10. A viral sinus infection can develop into a bacterial infection, which typically lasts longer than 10 days. Patients will usually respond to antibiotics within two to three days after a bacterial sinus infection is diagnosed and treated. After that, sinus infections can resolve anywhere between seven and 14 days.
There are three types of sinusitis. All three are based on length of symptoms:
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How Do Antibiotics Work
Our body’s defence system usually copes with harmful bacteria bydestroying them, and therefore protects us from getting infections. However,sometimes the infection is too great and antibiotics are needed.
Antibiotics work by either killing the bacteria or by preventing the bacteria fromgrowing and reproducing . After stopping growth and reproduction, the body’s immune systemthen destroys and removes the bacteria.
Treatments For Sinus Infections Other Than Antibiotics
#1: Saline Nasal Wash
Saline nasal wash can be a great way to thin out the mucous in the sinuses enough to clear out the blockage. I recommend starting this early on in the course of the illness to prevent the infection from worsening.
You can even make this at home using 2 cups of water and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I would add a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda to prevent burning that can occur with use. There are also plenty of over the counter saline nasal sprays that you can purchase. You can use this 4-6 times per day.
Vaporizers are great because they can also thin out the mucous and make you feel a lot better. An easy home remedy, steam is probably the best way to use this treatment. Beware if you are an asthmatic as the steam could cause worsening of the asthma symptoms.
#3: Steroid Nasal Spray
Steroid nasal sprays such as Flonase have been my go to remedy recently and the great news is that they are now over the counter. The general recommendation is to use 1-2 sprays per nostril daily.
But I have found great relief using 2 sprays in each nostril twice daily. At these higher doses it is important to remember that you should use this short term, no more than 5-7 days.
These medications can significantly reduce inflammation allowing the congestion blockage to clear and significantly alleviate symptoms.
Guaifenesin such as Mucinex can certainly break up the mucous, allowing the congestion to clear more quickly.
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Can I Buy Antibiotics Over The Counter For Sinus Infection
I am from California . Do you know any particular antibiotics for sinus infection that will really work and that I can buy without prescriptions from the doctor?
In this online drugstore sell all sorts of antibiotics without a prescription. These drugs meet the same standards as local pharmacy store.
I feel you man, I just got my yearly Sinus infection and its hitting hard. Although I did go to the doctor and got a round of antibiotics started to kill the infection, the neti-pot and hot showers are where its at. Supposedly if I keep up this neti-pot thing it will irrigate my sinuses to the point where an infection wont be able to develop, my issue is a deviated septum so well see how it goes. Anyway, sinus infections are the pits, hope everyone suffering feels relief soon!!
Get A Prescription To Treat Your Sinus Infection
We set up Lemonaid to make it simple to get the convenient affordable medical care you need regardless of insurance, and sinus infections are one of the most common health problems.
With our sinus treatment service you can have a same day online visit. Our doctors or nurse practitioners can work out if youve got a sinus infection. Most sinus infections are caused by viruses, but some are caused by bacteria. Viral infections typically get better within a week without treatment. If we think you have a bacterial infection thats safe to treat online, we can give you a prescription.
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Rare Cases Can Turn Serious
Antibiotics also can help ward off rare but potentially dangerous complications that arise when a sinus infection spreads to the eyes or brain, Dr. Sindwani says.
Complications around the eyes are the more common of the two. These complications can cause redness, swelling around the eyes and reduced vision, and even lead to blindness in a severe form known as cavernous sinus thrombosis. Serious cases are immediately treated with IV antibiotics. Patients are usually admitted to the hospital for a CT scan to see if fluid needs to be drained, Dr. Sindwani says.
Also in rare cases, sinus infections in the rear center of ones head can spread into the brain. This can lead to life-threatening conditions like meningitis or brain abscess, Dr. Sindwani says.
Before antibiotics, people would die from sinusitis, he says. But he emphasizes that such complications are unlikely. In most cases, the bacterial infection goes away, especially if you dont have underlying medical problems.
Its important to monitor your symptoms if you suspect a sinus infection. If the condition lingers or worsens, call your doctor.
How Can You Treat Sinusitis Without Antibiotics
Whether sinusitis is caused by bacteria or by a virus, most people get better even if they don’t take antibiotics. 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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