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 September 16, 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 September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. 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:
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