Fred Bodimer, KMOX Health & Religion Editor

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine have identified a painful illness, common during the winter months when people suffer through colds, for which antibiotics don’t seem to provide much benefit: acute sinus infections.

In the research published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 166 adults who were recently diagnosed with the infections were randomly assigned to take the antibiotic amoxicillin or a placebo for 10 days. After three days, there was little difference between the recovery of the amoxicillin group and the control group – although both groups felt significantly better after 10 days.

Lead researcher Dr. Jane Garbutt says a similar study in children previously had shown that much of the time, antibiotics don’t really do much to improve sinus infections. So she wasn’t surprised that this study found a similar result in adults.

“We hope that this provides evidence that doctors can use with patients, to tell them that there’s no real benefit from prescribing an antibiotic,” Garbutt said. “They should feel better within the next few days with or without antibiotics.”

How to explain the findings? “I think more often than not, these infections are viral,” said Garbutt, “so antibiotics aren’t going to help.”

While some people with sinus infections actually do have a bacterial infection, there’s no simple way to draw a sample from the sinus cavity, short of surgery.

(KMOX © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. )

Comments (4)
  1. stlmom4 says:

    Homeopathy handles sinus infections great! Suffered from sinus infections for decades and always needed antibiotics for them, usually 4-5 times a year. It was bad. Physician who also did homeopathy started me on a remedy whenever one began; never had a full-fledged one or needed antibiotics for one in the 20 yrs since. It’s the only thing I’ve ever found that can stop it in its tracks. The earlier the remedy is taken, the better, but I haven’t been laid up with one since. The remedy that works wonders for me is Pulsatilla, but another may work better for you. Can look up symptoms exhibited online to match to proper remedy. To your health!

    1. Toxins says:

      A review of the best science on the usefulness of homeopathy to treat a variety of conditions falls. Homeopathy has been proven to be useless.

  2. Toxins says:

    Neti pots can really help alleviate symptoms, but I hadn’t been sterilizing it between uses:

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