Antibiotic Treatments Have No Effect on Sinusitis: Study

   on February 16 2012 6:41 AM

Sinusitis, a common infection in the U.S., may not be cured by support antibiotic treatment, a new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association mentions.

According to the report, although antibiotics are commonly used to treat the condition, there is limited evidence about the beneficial effects of such drugs. For the research, a total of 166 patients or test subjects diagnosed with a sinus infection were given a week's supply of over-the-counter meds to relieve pain, fever, congestion and cough.

Among the patients, half were given a 10-day course of the antibiotic, amoxicillin; the other half got a placebo. Following the administration of the drugs, the researchers checked the patients on days 3, 7, 10 and 28 of the treatment to find out if the symptoms showed improvement. The test scores were not significantly different between groups on day 3 and on day 10 but differed at day 7 favouring the group taking amoxicillin.

There was no statistically significant difference in reported improvement of the symptoms on day 3 or day 10 whereas on day 7 more participants treated with amoxicillin reported symptom improvement.

I think the data are something like 90 percent of people that go to a doctor's office and receive this diagnosis will be given an antibiotic prescription, study author Dr. Jane Garbutt, a research associate professor of medicine and paediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, told WebMD. I think that we should try and significantly reduce that percentage.

According to the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, sinusitis is one of the most common medical complaints in the U.S. Around thirty-five million Americans suffering from sinusitis have chronic sinusitis, a highly debilitating condition often compared in severity to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the condition's 24 million annual cases account for nearly one fifth of all antibiotic prescriptions. Because sinusitis can be caused by either a virus or bacteria, by definition, antibiotics won't have any effect on the viral infections.

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