Skip to comments.Antibiotics no help against most sinus infections: study
Posted on 02/15/2012 2:16:21 AM PST by iowamark
Antibiotics don't help fight most sinus infections, although doctors routinely prescribe them for that purpose, according to a U.S. study.
Researchers whose work was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that antibiotics didn't ease patients' symptoms or get them back to work any sooner than an inactive placebo pill.
Antibiotics are known to fuel the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria and experts have grown increasingly worried about overuse.
This is a particular concern with sinus infections, because doctors can't tell if the disease is caused by bacteria or by a virus, in which case antibiotics are useless.
"There is not much to be gained from antibiotics," said Jane Garbutt of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who led the study.
"Rather than give everybody an antibiotic hoping to find the (patients) with bacteria, our findings would suggest refraining from antibiotics and doing what we call watchful waiting," she told Reuters Health...
Fewer than two percent of sinus infections are bacterial, said Anthony Chow, an expert in infectious diseases at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
"Most cases are viral, and the vast majority don't require antibiotics," he said.
"Antibiotics have been abused, so there is a need to be more cautious in prescribing them and to hold back."
But he said that antibiotics still do have a place and recently chaired a committee at the Infectious Diseases Society, which has developed guidelines to help spot infections that are more likely to be bacterial.
Those guidelines, still in press, recommend treating only patients whose symptoms last for at least 10 days and keep worsening, who are severely sick with high fever and other symptoms, or who improve and then get worse again.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Since most sinus infections are related to rhinoviruses, I would never go back to a quack that prescribed antibiotics for them.
Thanks for this info.
Anyone know if the colloidal silver sprays work for sinus infections? I’ve been having trouble the past few years, but lately have been using a neti pot, which seems to help.
They always worked for me. Always. And I get them a lot, usually when I fly.
Antibiotics have always affected me badly, so I’ve avoided them unless absolutely necessary, and take a probiotic to get past the inevitable stomach issues when I’m forced to use them.
A hot shower and gargling with warm salt water does me more good for a sinus infection than anything else. Don’t swallow the warm salt water if you try it though, it’s a good way to induce vomiting.
Thank you for drawing attention to this article. My wife had an ongoing sinus ‘infection’ for over 6 years. She probably went through 4 different series of antibiotics in that time frame. Although it would subside - the ‘infection’ would come back every time that she was exhausted.
Finally, when she had been through a 5 day series of an antibiotic she realized it was not gone and went back to the doctor - he prescribed 3 pills of ‘flagyl’ (sp?). After taking the first one she knew the ‘infection’ was finally gone.
10 years later she came down with a classic case of Meniere’s, where unexpectedly she would lose all balance because of a strong case of vertigo. The damaged ear is on the same side where the ‘infection’ would settle. Things are much better now and through diet and rest she can live normally. She can now drive and work again.
From my own personal experience as a smoker, I have to say no we do not nor are the duration of the illness any greather than a non-moker.
One thing I will add to the conversation is that since I retired 5 years ago, the frequency of colds has been reduced by probably 75%. The reason of course is that in an office environment somebody always has something that eventually everyone catches. And since I'm retired I no longer have that close contact with people on a daily basis.
Many people don't give much thought to it but washing your hands when you return home from shopping cuts down on the possibility of picking up cold germs from shopping cart handles and other stuff you might have touched in the marketplace.
When I smoked I also drank a lot of coffee instead of water which would dehydrate my sinuses. Ultimately I learned that saline solution was the best way to deal with the infections rather than antibiotics.
While it is absolutely true that antibiotics won’t help with a viral sinus infection, I’m afraid that failing to prescribe antibiotics at all may have terrible consequences. A bacterial infection left untreated can easily become fatal. Waiting for ten days while bacteria grow unchecked just doesn’t seem very wise to me.
In a bacterial sinus infection, there should be bacteria visible on a microscope slide. Most bacteria grow in culture. It should be possible to confirm a bacterial infection in less than ten days, and then prescribe antibiotics.
IMHO..as insurance companies and Feds continue to run out of money.....more and more “studies” will claim “nothing” works...
We use ‘silver’ for just about any illness but, some of the sinus infection I’ve heard about lately required rounds of steroids to beat it back.
I would like to dispute this finding. I suffered through a bad case of sinusitis and the Antibiotic: Avelox HELPED me.
I’ve always found that the herbal mix of echinacea and goldenseal is actually effective for my sinus infections. Do a google search and you’ll find studies that have been conducted that document its use for this purpose.
Exactly. It seems that weekly there is a new study out to tell us how we aren’t going to get any treatment.
The list is surely growing, so Obamacare will mean “hardly any treatment” because a study says so.
Yep, just watched a Doc on Lyme Disease. Apparently the Insurance industry is making complaints against Doctors who treat for "Chronic" Lyme Disease. Then they get the Medical Boards to pull their license and then the Insurance Companies swoop in and sue these doctors for millions.
See if the Doctors who treat "Chronic" Lyme disease are right and the disease is found to cause all sorts of problems like Fibromyalgia, loss of energy and fatigue, and other symptoms associated with chronic depression the Insurance companies are going to have to pony up for what some believe is a hidden epidemic. Further the Need for meds like Cymbalta would drop dramatically.
After watching that doc and wondering if just 10 percent of the findings in it are true I feel that the American public needs to march on the FDA and the insurance companies and start hanging these firkin bureaucrats!
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