Antibiotics no use in sinusitis

Antibiotics and topical steroids are no more effective than placebo for treating acute sinusitis, say UK researchers.

It is another argument against the use of antibiotics, which are prescribed in an estimated 92 per cent of cases of suspected acute sinusitis in the UK.

The latest study involved 240 over-16s with acute nonrecurrent sinusitis. They were put into groups and given amoxicillin with budesonide; amoxicillin with a placebo nasal spray; budesonide with placebo antibiotic; or both placebos.

Assessing patients 10 days later showed that 29 per cent of those given amoxicillin still had symptoms, compared with 33.6 per cent of those not given the antibiotic. Similarly, 31.4 per cent of those given budesonide had symptoms, compared with 31.4 per cent of those not given the steroid nasal spray.

Topical steroids were found to have some benefits if used early.

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