Antibiotics no more effective than placebo for acute sinusitis

February 26, 2014
This study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association investigated the effectiveness of taking an antibiotic for acute sinusitis in 166 individuals.  Roughly half of this group was given 1,500mg/day of amoxicillin and the other half were given a placebo for 10 days.  On day 3, 37% of those on amoxicillin reported feeling better while 34% of the placebo group reported feeling better.  On day 10, 78% of those on amoxicillin reported feeling better while 80% of the placebo group reported feeling better.  They were practically the same.  The study concludes, "Our findings support recommendations to avoid routine antibiotic treatment for patients with uncomplicated acute rhinosinusitis."  
A study reported in 1999 found that 96% of those with chronic sinusitis had positive fungal cultures from nasal secretions.  As antibiotics are ineffective against fungal infections the above study provides further evidence for the judicious use of antibiotics.

Amoxicillin for acute rhinosinusitis: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2012 Feb 15;307(7):685-92. 
The Diagnosis and Incidence of Allergic Fungal Sinusitis. Mayo Clin Proc. 1999 Sep;74(9):877-84.

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