Antibiotics Useless for Sinus Infections, but Doctors Keep Prescribing Them Anyway

Published: October 21, 2012
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Below is an article from Natural News.

Although many health researchers and professionals have recommended that doctors stop prescribing antibiotics for sinus infections, the practice is still widespread. A new study found that a third of all doctor's visits for upper respiratory infections in the United States end in a diagnosis of rhinosinusitis, or nasal/sinus inflammation. Approximately 80% of these patients are prescribed antibiotics. But most rhinosinusitis infections are caused by viruses, which are not affected by antibiotics. In the Lancet study, researchers found that for every 15 adult rhinosinusitis patients given antibiotics, only one would receive any benefit from the drug. Antibiotics were equally ineffective regardless of the patients' age or the length or severity of their symptoms. "Antibiotics offer little benefit for patients with acute rhinosinusitis-like complaints," the researchers wrote. "Antibiotics are not justified even if a patient reports symptoms for longer than 7-10 days." In addition to placing patients at risk of side effects, the unnecessary use of antibiotics contributes to the development of drug-resistant bacterial strains. According to Donald A. Leopold, chairman of the department of otolaryngology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, many doctors prescribe antibiotics simply because they can't think of anything more effective to use.

I have found that in some cases of severe acute sinusitis, the antibiotics can be helpful regardless of the above. The key is to then be sure to address the underlying causes of the sinusitis to prevent its recurrence and eliminate the underlying infections that the antibiotics can't help. 

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of four research studies on their treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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