Antibiotics worthless for sinus infections
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Antibiotics worthless for sinus infections

St Louis : MO : USA | Feb 15, 2012 at 8:55 AM PST
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SINUS RELIEF

Commonly prescribed prescription for sinus infections work as fast as just waiting for it to clear

Have a sinus infection and received a prescription for amoxicillin before you fill it with hope and expectation it will clear that sinus infections, bad news it works no better than just sitting and waiting for the infection to clear.

According to a new study published in the Journal of the Medical American Association, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, have found those antibiotics such as the commonly prescribe amoxicillin does not ease symptoms or have you returning to work/school any faster than a placebo.

Dr. Jane Garbutt, M.D., and fellow researchers used official U.S., to identify patients with sinus infections. At random, 166 adults were assigned to either taking a placebo pill at three doses daily or a ten day treatment of amoxicillin at 1,500 milligrams a day. Patients symptoms and disease-specific quality of life was measured by the Sinonasal Outcome Test (SNOT-16) and were evaluated during the ten days of treatment.

Patients also had the option of taking other medications to relieve symptoms including fever, cough, pain and nasal congestion based on as needed.

Using the SNOT-16 scale, researchers discovered little difference between the two patient groups at three or ten days, however, scores did differ at day seven for those in the amoxicillin group but the effect “was too small to represent any clinically meaningful important change.”

Researchers also found there were no differences on days lost of work, how satisfied they were with treatment, frequency of relapse or recurrence at 28 days, or how much additional care they had received.

Researchers noted that the findings from the study support recommendations to avoid routine antibiotic use in patients with acute rhinosinusitits. Researchers had also written "There is now a considerable body of evidence from clinical trials conducted in the primary care setting that antibiotics provide little if any benefit for patients with clinically diagnosed acute rhinosinusitis.”

Dr. Anthony Chow, M.D., Professor Emeritus, Division of Infectious Disease, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and Honorary Staff at Vancouver General Hospital states that less than 2% of sinus infections are bacterial. Dr. Chow tells Reuters Health, Most cases are viral, and the vast majority don't require antibiotics.” “Antibiotics have been abused, so there is a need to be more cautious in prescribing them and to hold back.”

Dr. Jay Piccirillo, M.D., FACS, Professor of Otolaryngology, at Washington University and senior author of study, stated “Patients don’t get better faster or have fewer symptoms when they get antibiotics.”

In conclusion the authors note guidelines recently released in the United States and United Kingdom, have suggested watchful waiting as an alternative approach.

Alternative treatment approaches include:

Echinacea can be used to treat sinus infections because of the herbs strong antibacterial properties. It provides immune system support which helps kill off the bacteria faster.

Chicken soup really does work. The hot steam may be the main advantage but laboratory studies have reported that the main ingredients in the soup may have anti-inflammatory properties.

Inhaling steam two to four times daily. Sit comfortably and lean over a bowl of hot water( do not inhale the steam while the water is boiling), cover head and bowl with towel so steam remains underneath. Inhale the steam continuously for ten minutes. You can add in eucalyptus oil (antiviral and antibacterial) other oils include lavender, peppermint, pine, thyme and tea tree.

Nasal wash that can purchased in a bottle with saline solution at the drug store.



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Debbie Nicholson is based in Detroit, Michigan, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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