Overuse of Antibiotics When Treating Rhinonsinusitis

Reconsider the Use of Antibiotics for SinusitisWhile sinus infections can affect anyone, they often are most problematic for those who suffer from respiratory allergies or those dealing with the flu or other illness. Seeking relief, people will often head to their doctor's office, and most carry a preconceived notion that the doctor can just prescribe and antibiotic, like amoxicillin, to clear things up. A study published in a February issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that this is not only NOT helping rhinosinusitis patients but may be setting us for difficulties later.

_Researchers at the Washington University in St. Louis took aim at determining the differences in treating rhinisinusitis with amoxicillin versus over the counter treatments. Over the course of ten days, patients were given three doses a day of amoxicillin or a placebo as well as OTC treatments for congestions, cough, and fever.

_When comparing both groups, researchers found there was no statistical difference in how patients were feeling after three days of treatment. After ten days, both groups showed improved conditions, but most sinus infections clear up by then, regardless of the cause of the infection.

_This was unexpected for many in that the common belief is that antibiotics like Amoxicillin speed up the recovery process. So while patients request and many doctors prescribe antibiotics for sinus infections, for most, this is unnecessary. More importantly, it can also be contributing to a growing problem with bacteria and treatment.

_What medical professionals are finding is simple bacterial infections that could traditionally be treated with an antibiotic are displaying resistance to these treatments. Due to overuse, antibiotics are having less and less of an effect on bacteria.

_Using fewer antibiotics to treat sinus infections can not only avoid the complications associated with antibiotic use but also help to slow down this growing bacterial resistance.

_If a trip to the doctor for antibiotics won't bring you the relief you're looking for, other methods may help your symptoms without costing you that extra trip to the pharmacy. Many people have used a Neti pot or another type of nasal irrigator, with a slightly hypertonic or isotonic solution, to soothe inflamed sinuses and reduce congestion. Of course, there's always chicken noodle soup, a box tissues and a bottle of Nyquil.

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