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.

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 July 31, 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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