Sinus Infection (cont.)
Medications to Cure Sinus Infection and Open Sinuses
Cure sinus infection
The chief goal of treatment is eliminating bacteria from the sinus cavities
with antibiotics. This helps to prevent complications, relieve symptoms, and
reduce the risk of chronic sinusitis.
- For acute, uncomplicated cases, a synthetic
like amoxicillin (Amoxil,
Polymox, or Trimox) is used most commonly. This antibiotic is effective against the usual causative microorganisms and is relatively
inexpensive. Amoxicillin's main side effects include
allergic reactions (throat swelling,
hives) and stomach upset.
- People allergic to penicillin can take a sulfur-containing antibiotic
called trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole or TMP/SMX (Bactrim, Cotrim, or
Septra). Sulfa drugs ares not recommended for people who are allergic to sulfur.
- People who have several episodes of partially treated acute sinusitis or
those who have chronic sinusitis may become resistant to
TMP/SMX. Newer synthetic penicillins and cephalosporins such as
cefuroxime (Ceftin), and
loracarbef (Lorabid) can
clear most of the resistant organisms that cause sinus infection.
- Overuse of these "broad-spectrum" antibiotics may eventually lead to
organisms evolving that can resist even the most potent antibiotics currently
available. Simpler antibiotics such as
amoxicillin should be used
first and taken for the entire duration (14-21 days). The basic rule of thumb is
to take the antibiotic until the symptoms disappear, and then continue to take
the antibiotic for one more week.
Maintain open sinuses
To treat acute sinusitis, one or more OTC or prescription therapies may be
all that is necessary. For those with recurrent bouts of acute
sinusitis or chronic sinusitis, the addition of intranasal or oral steroids (prednisone) may reduce
symptoms. Commonly prescribed medications are
and flunisolide (Nasalide).
- Steroids are potent inhibitors of inflammation.
- Nasal sprays (intranasal steroids) work directly on the lining of the nasal
passages and sinuses with little effect on the rest of the body when taken in
- As with the other classes of drugs, many intranasal steroids are available.
Some are more tolerable than others. These are
prescription medications. These drugs do not
immediately like nasal and oral decongestants do, but once therapeutic drug
levels are achieved, symptoms usually improve, and decongestants may be
- During months when environmental allergens are most widespread, the early
administration of intranasal steroids may help keep the
sinuses open and draining, and prevent sinusitis.
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