Antibiotics that doctors typically prescribe for sinus infections do not reduce symptoms any better than an inactive placebo, according to investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “Patients don’t get better faster or have fewer symptoms when they get antibiotics,” says Jay F. Piccirillo, MD, professor of otolaryngology and the study’s senior author. “Our results show that antibiotics aren’t necessary for a basic sinus infection – most people get better on their own.” In the United States as many as one in five antibiotic prescriptions are for sinus infections,the authors point out. And given the rise of bacteria resistant to such drugs, they say it is important to find out whether this treatment is effective. Their results show it is not. The study appears Feb. 15 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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