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Antibiotics Not Necessary or Helpful for Acute Sinusitis Jonathan Powell, ND

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Findings released in the Journal of the American Medical Association show that most symptoms of acute sinus infection resolve just as quickly without antibiotics as they do with antibiotics. Researchers divided 166 adult patients who met the diagnostic criteria for bacterial sinus infection, or sinusitis, into two groups. One group received a 10-day course of antibiotics, while the second group received a placebo. Both groups were allowed to take medications to relieve symptoms during the study. For example, patients could take acetaminophen for pain or fever. After ten days, the difference in the assessed quality of life and resolution of symptoms was not significantly different between the two groups. There were no differences in how many work days patients missed, how satisfied they were with their treatment, how often they relapsed or how much additional medical care they got.

Sinus infections are the fifth leading cause for doctors to prescribe antibiotics to adults, even though experts in infectious disease contend that only two percent of sinus infections are caused by bacteria. Sinus infections which are caused by viruses (98%) are not affected by antibiotics at all. By over-prescribing antibiotics, doctors are creating more and more antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Doctors admit that they frequently prescribe antibiotics simply because they have nothing else to offer their patients.

At Elements, we offer treatments to bolster your immune system against both bacterial and viral sinus infections. In addition, we offer preemptive care during cold and flu season, thus minimizing your risk of ever even getting any infection. Remember, healthy nasal passages are your first defense against infection.


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