Antibiotics do not improve sinusitis symptoms


Antibiotics do not improve sinusitis symptoms

Primary care physicians (family doctors) commonly prescribe antibiotics to treat acute maxillary sinusitis (inflamed membranes of the sinuses), although there is no evidence that this approach is effective.

A report in the British medical journal The Lancet found that antibiotics did nothing more than the placebos used as the control.

Study subjects were all referred by family doctors who thought antibiotic treatment was called for because of the severity of the symptoms. The patients were given either antibiotics or a placebo and the progress of their symptoms (headache, increase of pain m the lace on bending, nasal obstruction, and nasal discharge) was checked by ear, nose, and throat specialists after one and two weeks.

All patients were also asked to report to their doctors any relapses that occurred during the year following treatment.

After two weeks, the results for the two groups were similar. Symptoms had greatly improved or disappeared in 83% of the antibiotic group and in 77% of the placebo group, which was not considered a significant difference.

One year after treatment, the number of relapses did not differ significantly between the patients treated with antibiotics and those treated with a placebo.

In recent years, the over-use of antibiotics has been the cause of major deterioration in human immune system responses.

SOURCES: The Lancet, March 8, 1997.

World Health Report 1996, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, May 1996.

The Chiropractic Journal.

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