Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antibiotics Appear To Be Overprescribed For Sinus Infections

Date:
March 22, 2007
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Antibiotics are prescribed for approximately 82 percent of acute sinus infections and nearly 70 percent of chronic sinus infections, despite the fact that viruses are by far the most frequent cause of this condition, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

Antibiotics are prescribed for approximately 82 percent of acute sinus infections and nearly 70 percent of chronic sinus infections, despite the fact that viruses are by far the most frequent cause of this condition, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Otolaryngology--Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Related Articles


Rhinosinusitis, an inflammation of the sinus cavities (adjacent to the nasal passages) and commonly referred to as a sinus infection, is a common and expensive medical condition in the United States, according to background information in the article. In 2002, rhinosinusitis accounted for 21 percent of all antibiotic prescriptions for adults and 9 percent of those for children. The infection is considered acute when symptoms last up to four weeks, and chronic when symptoms persist for 12 weeks or longer. Acute rhinosinusitis is usually thought to be caused by infectious agents, while allergies, facial anatomy and hormonal changes may contribute to chronic cases.

Hadley J. Sharp, B.S., and colleagues at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, used data from two national surveys to assess the medications prescribed for sinus infections at physicians' offices and hospital outpatient and emergency departments between 1999 and 2002. The surveys were conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics and designed to be representative of the U.S. population.

Based on the data collected in the surveys, an estimated 14,277,026 visits to these health care facilities nationally per year were due to chronic rhinosinusitis and 3,116,142 were because of acute rhinosinusitis. The chronic visits represented 1.39 percent of total ambulatory care visits (in which the patient receives outpatient care), while acute cases represented .30 percent. "The most frequently recommended medications for treatment of both acute and chronic rhinosinusitis are antibiotic agents, followed by antihistamines; nasal decongestants; corticosteroids; and antitussive, expectorant and mucolytic agents, respectively," the authors write. At least one antibiotic was prescribed at 82.74 percent of visits for acute rhinosinusitis and 69.95 percent of those for chronic sinusitis.

"Prescription antibiotic drugs are being used far more than bacterial causes studies would indicate," the authors write. "Nasal and inhaled corticosteroids are prescribed more frequently to treat acute rhinosinusitis than published studies imply is necessary. Despite current theories of causes of chronic rhinosinusitis, the use of corticosteroids remains low in this setting. An area where our findings fit nicely with current information is use of antihistamines, which roughly matched the prevalence of their major indication, allergic rhinosinusitis."

It is possible that physicians may have been treating secondary infections with antibiotics in some the cases, the authors note. In addition, physicians may believe that antibiotics are effective because patients improved while taking them, while in fact the symptoms may have cleared up without treatment. "While keeping the goals of treatment in mind, there are concerns about the overuse of antibiotics and the resultant problems, including drug resistance and increasingly virulent bacteria," they write. "When two-thirds of patients with sinus symptoms expect or receive an antibiotic and as many as one-fifth of antibiotic prescriptions for adults are written for a drug to treat rhinosinusitis, these disorders hold special pertinence on the topic."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Antibiotics Appear To Be Overprescribed For Sinus Infections." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070319175718.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2007, March 22). Antibiotics Appear To Be Overprescribed For Sinus Infections. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070319175718.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Antibiotics Appear To Be Overprescribed For Sinus Infections." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070319175718.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins