Available Antibiotics to Treat Sinusitis

Posted in Sinusitis

Sinus infection causes very disturbing symptoms that set major disturbance in doing our daily activities. Since sinusitis is usually caused by bacterial infection, antibiotics seem like the magic pills to get a fast recovery. This, I assure you, is a wrong assumption. First of all, antibiotics are not super-drugs that can cure all types of sinusitis infection. Taking antibiotics for sinusitis caused by other factors like allergy or viral infection would result in nothing. Second, antibiotics cost a lot. They can stimulate mild side-effects (diarrhea and disturbed stomach), severe side-effects (intestinal infection and allergy), and the most concerning is antibiotics resistance. The third reason is most cases of sinusitis are not severe enough to be treated with antibiotics. Human body has wonderful immune and recovery systems. Some studies even proved that the recovery-pace between sinusitis patients treated with placebos is the same with the patients treated with antibiotics. This may indicate that antibiotics for sinusitis are often not necessary. Nevertheless, there are some cases where antibiotics for sinusitis are required. Severe infections in the sinuses combined with weak-immune-system make antibiotics aid needed.

Antibiotics are divided into two major groups. The first group is the narrow-spectrum range antibiotics. Antibiotics classified in this group have antibacterial property towards specific bacteria only. The other group is the broad-spectrum antibiotics. This type of antibiotic has damaging effect on wide-range bacteria types. Both the narrow and broad range antibiotics have their own strength and weakness over each other. Narrow-spectrum antibiotics can only work on specific bacteria. So, these antibiotics won’t give any impact on other bacteria. This means that there must be further identification to confirm what bacteria cause the infection. To identify the type of bacteria that cause sinusitis, samples from the sinuses should be taken. This, obviously, is not preferred by the patients for it is painful and costly. The good thing about these narrow-ranged antibiotics is that they might also minimize the risk of raising resistance of too many bacteria.

In reversal, the broad-ranged antibiotics may be applied without the need of identifying who the real culprit is. They attack most types of bacteria, leaving the slightest chance for the bacteria infecting the sinuses to survive. On the other hand, this type of antibiotics may increase the risk of wide-variations bacterial-resistance. For this reason, the doctors prefer to apply the narrow-spectrum antibiotics for their patients. Broad-spectrum antibiotics are used when the narrow ones give no impact on the infection.

There are several types of antibiotics for sinusitis treatment. The types of antibiotics given by the doctor are based on the type of the sinusitis. Acute sinusitis is generally easier to be treated than chronic sinusitis. In case of acute sinusitis, the bacteria that cause infection are usually the S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, and M. catarrhalis. So, to cure the infections, doctors frequently give antibiotics that affect the three of them such as amoxicillin and augmentin. The use of penicillin is not preferred because this antibiotic doesn’t affect the major infecting-bacteria mentioned above.

Chronic sinusitis is a more permanent disease. The infection may have continued from long time. This makes the persisting infection and mucus hard to be driven away. Some anaerobic bacteria may also breed inside the sinuses. Therefore, the antibiotics used may need to be more powerful, or in many cases, having broader range of antibacterial property. The types of antibiotics commonly used in treating chronic sinusitis are amoxicillin-clavulanate, cefpodoxime proxetil, and levofloxacin.

Antibiotics for sinusitis treatment are usually taken orally and delivered to the sinuses through the bloodstream. The piling mucus, however, may restrict antibiotics transmission to the infected area. This is why the antibiotic treatments are usually accompanied with the use of decongestant and other remedies that can help thinning the mucus.

More Articles