Do antibiotics help cure sinusitis?
Yes because sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses by bacteria. However exactly the same symptoms can occur with infection by viruses or in allergic reaction (rhinitis). In these cases antibioitics will not work. Studies have shown that antibiotics do help to cure sinusitis but that 3-day courses are as effective as 10-day courses. See the SMAC report for more details. A meta-analysis in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology found that there was little difference in effectiveness between different antibiotics (See the NHS Centre for Reviews & Dissemination website for more details). It should be noted that some studies suggest there may be little benefit to antibiotic treatment in sinusitis. See the NHS Centre for Reviews & Dissemination website for more details. So, if your doctor thinks you definitely have sinusitis he/she may prescribe a 3-day course of antibiotics, but if he/she thinks you just have infection by a virus or allergic reaction giving sinusitis-like symptoms you should not get any antibiotics.
Date of Posting: 14/01/2003
Date of next Review: 15/01/2005
So what else can I do to help get rid of my sinusitis-like symptoms?
Sinusitis; Rhinitis; Antibiotics