Sinusitis: When to use antibiotics

by Anna Stinson | August 16, 2017 5:12 am

Sinusitis is the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the sinus cavities that is most often caused by viruses. However, sometimes the condition can be caused by bacteria. Depending on the cause of the problem treatment differs. For the most part, treatment involves medications, such as decongestants, painkillers and antibiotics. These are medications of different drug classes that work differently on the sinusitis symptoms, each having their own benefits and risks. For example, decongestants reduce swelling and improve sinus drainage, providing a short-term relief, but shouldn’t be used more often than 3-4 times daily and no longer than 3 days, or they can make congestion worse. Painkillers can relieve sinus headache but won’t treat the underlying cause. Antibiotics will not work if the condition is incited by viruses. To learn more on how these medications work follow[1], especially if you take them both, to be sure they don’t contain the same ingredients, so that you don’t accidentally double the dose.

Since most often sinusitis develops in people who have a cold first, it usually improves on its own after the latter has gone. However, if symptoms do not improve or get worse after the cold has gone, you start having pain in the cheeks or upper back teeth, your temperature rises, there is yellow or green drainage from the nose for more than 10 days or you develop complications, such as pus in the sinus cavities, antibiotics are needed. In fact, the longer the symptoms last, the more likely sinusitis is of bacterial nature.

The first line therapy for bacterial sinusitis is Amoxil[2] because it is proven to be effective in most cases and spurs few side effects. However, it is not appropriate for people allergic to the active ingredient Amoxicillin or to those who have been diagnosed with mononucleosis.

Antibiotics are also appropriate to people who are less able to fight off infection, such as patients with diabetes or severe lung or heart disease. They are usually given as a 10-14 day course and most patients start feeling better in as little as 3 days after starting taking the medicine. Most patients completely recover after the course is finished.

  2. Amoxil:

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