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Acute Sinusitis Does Not Respond Well to Medication

Neither antibiotics nor steroids effective in primary care setting

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In a primary care setting, neither antibiotics nor topical steroids effectively treat acute sinusitis, according to study findings published in the Dec. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Ian G. Williamson, M.D., of the University of Southampton in Southampton, U.K., and colleagues conducted a study of 240 adults with acute non-recurrent sinusitis with at least two diagnostic criteria such as purulent rhinorrhea, local pain, and pus in the nasal cavity.

There were four treatment groups: a seven-day course of 500 mg of amoxicillin three times a day plus a 10-day course of 200 μg of budesonide once a day; placebo antibiotic and active nasal steroid; antibiotic and placebo nasal steroid; and placebo for both drugs. Of those taking antibiotics, 29 percent had symptoms for more than 10 days. This compared with 33.6 percent for those not taking antibiotics. The percentage of those with symptoms after 10 days was the same for those prescribed steroids or placebo steroids (31 percent).

"Secondary analysis suggested that nasal steroids were significantly more effective in patients with less severe symptoms at baseline," the authors write. However, "neither an antibiotic nor a topical steroid alone or in combination was effective as a treatment for acute sinusitis in a primary care setting," the authors conclude.

One of the study authors has received consulting fees from Abbott Pharmaceuticals.

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