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Antibiotics Not Effective in Fighting Sinus Infections

Antibiotics for Sinus Infections: Not a Happy Ending

To kick off cold and flu season, a new British study found that a placebo works just as well as antibiotics (amoxicillin) in treating sinus infections. That conclusion, at least in my book, is not a happy ending. It seems no matter what treatment the 240 study participants tried – antibiotics, steroid nasal spray, or placebo – their sinus infections cleared up after about two weeks. Antibiotics work on bacterial infections, but the long held belief that green and yellow mucus (gross I know, but a telling symptom of a sinus infection) is not indicative of a bacterial infection, as was once widely believed.

The study concludes that doctors should aim to treat the symptoms, using over the counter pain medication, like ibuprofen, for the throbbing pain (I don't exaggerate – the inflamed sinus can really cause some serious pain) and warm water rinses, like using the good old fashioned neti pot.


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geohiker geohiker 9 years
I just survived another sinus infection and could not get into the doctor, but it went away after a couple of weeks with just my own self-care. It's a great idea to quit taking so many antibiotics!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Aw JKat I just started getting chronic ones 3 years ago and it sucks, it never goes away. Antibiotics did nothing for me the first year I had it, so I haven't bothered with them since. Usually I just take ibuprofen to help with the headache and that's about it. They suck so bad when they sap all your energy...and it's not like you have the flu or anything, so I don't really claim to be sick even though I feel like shit! I should try one of those nasal flushes!
Milisa14919767 Milisa14919767 9 years
sinus rinses really do help and they have some rinses out that don't involve the netti pot - instead they use squeeze bottles
Sweet-Tea Sweet-Tea 9 years
I too avoid taking antibiotics unnecessarily. However, last month I had one I tried to wait it out/self-treat: neti-pot, mucinex-d, lots of hot fluids, rest, etc. 10 miserable days later, it looked like I had snorted a glow stick and perforated my eardrum from blowing my nose too hard. When the doc saw me and looked in my ears he actually gasped and let out an inadvertent "eww!" Apparently I caught a lovely and quite aggressive bacteria (which cause sores on eardrums, I was told) that I wasn't going to be able to fight on my own.
jkat jkat 9 years
I had a sinus infection basically my whole childhood from the ages of like 10-17. I would get them all winter every winter. Biaxin was the best remedy. It would be gone within a day or two. If I rode them out for two weeks I don't think they ever would have gone away. I do worry that all those antibiotics may have built up my immunity too much. I haven't been able to take ammoxicillian since I was like 12. Quitting my year-round national-level swim team was what finally ended my cycle of sinus infections!
suzanne suzanne 9 years
Chicken soup is enjoying renewed respect... Listen to your mother - and grandmother :) :FOGEY:
marygrace marygrace 9 years
when i had a sinus infection the doctor didn't give me anything because he said it wouldn't work. it took a little while but it cleared up on its own.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Yea...I usually won't go get pills UNLESS it is really bad and lasts longer then a couple of days. Otherwise, i try and fight it myself. With the pills, I get over it much quicker though.
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
All I know is that I have had a few sinus infections and the one time they gave me amoxicillin, I was feeling better within a day.
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