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!
Sounds like an interesting documentary.
These so called “studies” mean only one thing to me.
It is another “study” to back up the rationing boards in Obamacare when they deny you treatment that you used to have.
Many sinus infections result in secondary infections and they know it.
Obamacare will take all of the wonderful advancements in medicine and smash them. Only the chosen ones will get good treatment.
If you use herbal remedies, do you ever use turmeric or oregano oil?
My son has sinus trouble that drives him to the doctor exactly once a year, the same month every year. This tells me that it’s most likely not a bacterial infection if it’s an infection at all. (Clearly, something is pollinating at the time.) The symptoms are worse than just a stuffy or runny nose and sneezing. He feels sick enough to go to bed.
Would echinacea and golden seal be useful, in your opinion?
Squirt the saltwater up your nose with a plastic squeeze bottle. It works wonders for sinus problems. I have not had a cold, flu, or other illness since I started taking 2,000 IU of Vit D3 twice a day. Build up your immune system and prevent ilnnesses.
We use oil of oregano at the first sign of any viral problem. It is a very strong anti viral and anti biotic. We also use colloidal silver and food grade hydrogen peroxide.
“Many sinus infections result in secondary infections and they know it.”
That’s me. I almost always end up with strep throat or an ear infection or both.
Hubby is fond of saying, at such times, that my head is infected.
LOL. Mine will say, “she is sick in the head”.
I am really getting a scary feeling that if Obozocare isn’t repealed, we are going to have a terrible nightmare with getting decent medical care.
We will have long waits, then we will finally get in to some 3rd rate doctor or nurse only to be told to go home, take an aspirin, and drink water.
If you don’t improve, you will have a long wait again and still get nothing to help.
I can’t believe this has happened to us. America will no longer have good medical care and access to medicines we need without some rationing board determining our fate.
My remedy is to make a piece of buttered toast. Crush a clove of raw garlic on the toast and spread it into the butter. Have a full glass of water ready before eating.
Well if you or anyone else is interested it is viewable on HULU for free: Under Our Skin Just follow that link and watch it. Its around two hours long and very informative!
There are many good Docs on Hulu I also Recommend "Strange Culture" and "The Cartel"... Real Eye Opening stuff. It has spurred me to do further research in all three subjects!
Thanks for the info. I will check them out!
The Echinacea/goldenseal mix is also used in herbal medicine for colds and flu, so it might be helpful. However, if you are hesitant, he might try washing his sinus out with a nasal irrigator as soon as he has the first symptoms. (Always using sterilized water with the recommended salt & soda solution.) You can find them in most drugstores or Walmart.
I’ve only used turmeric in combination with St. John’s Wort for inflammation such as when I’ve pulled a muscle. I’ve not used oregano oil.
He takes my blood pressure.
If it is high then bacterial, if normal then viral.
My husband is the same way.
Granted that a two person study group is not a very large group I have to wonder if this is true for other people.
I know of no research on this, but personally, it works for me. That, and regular saline irrigation.