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Home Wellness Research Prescription Cautions Antibiotics Don't Help Sinusitis

Antibiotics Don't Help Sinusitis

Monday, 03 November 2008 16:44

Antibiotics do not help most children with acute sinusitis, according to a study in Pediatrics. Investigators studied 180 youngsters, aged 1 to 18 years, with acute sinusitis. The children were divided into three treatment groups:

  1. amoxicillin,
  2. amoxicillin-clavulanate,
  3. placebo.

Treatment lasted 14 days. Seventy-nine percent of the youngsters on amoxicillin improved after 14 days, as did 79% of those taking placebo pills and 81% of those on amoxicillin-clavulanate "Most children with prolonged cold-like symptoms suggestive of acute sinus disease get better within three weeks, without antibiotic therapy," explains chief investigator, Jane Garbutt, MB, ChB. "Our study suggests that, for children with uncomplicated acute sinusitis, it makes sense to delay antibiotic treatment and watch carefully." "Antibiotics are expensive and can cause side effects, most commonly diarrhea," Garbutt says. "Another concern is that they are an important factor in the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria."


Garbutt JM, GoldsteinM, Gellman E, Shannon W, Littenberg B   A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of antimicrobial treatment for children with clinically diagnosed acute sinusitis   Pediatrics 2001 (Apr);   107 (4):   619-625