Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Most sinus infections don't require antibiotics

21.03.2012
IDSA releases first rhinosinusitis guidelines, helps doctors distinguish between bacterial and viral cause
The vast majority of sinus infections are caused by viruses and should not be treated with antibiotics, suggest new guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).

Nearly one in seven people are diagnosed with a sinus infection each year. Although sinus infections are the fifth leading reason for antibiotic prescriptions, 90 to 98 percent of cases are caused by viruses, which are not affected by antibiotics. Used inappropriately, antibiotics foster the development of drug-resistant superbugs.

"There is no simple test that will easily and quickly determine whether a sinus infection is viral or bacterial, so many physicians prescribe antibiotics 'just in case,'" said Anthony W. Chow, MD, chair of the guidelines panel and professor emeritus of infectious diseases at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. "However, if the infection turns out to be viral – as most are – the antibiotics won't help and in fact can cause harm by increasing antibiotic resistance, exposing patients to drug side effects unnecessarily and adding cost."

The guidelines – the first developed by IDSA on this topic – provide specific characteristics of the illness to help doctors distinguish between viral and bacterial sinus infections. A sinus infection, called acute rhinosinusitis, is inflammation of the nasal and sinus passages that can cause uncomfortable pressure on either side of the nose and last for weeks. Most sinus infections develop during or after a cold or other upper respiratory infection, but other factors such as allergens and environmental irritants may play a role.

The guidelines recommend treating bacterial sinus infections with amoxicillin-clavulanate versus the current standard of care, amoxicillin. The addition of clavulanate helps to overcome antibiotic resistance by inhibiting an enzyme that breaks down the antibiotic. The guidelines also recommend against using other commonly used antibiotics, including azithromycin, clarithromycin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, due to increasing drug resistance.

The recommendation to use amoxicillin-clavulanate instead of amoxicillin is a major shift from older guidelines developed by other organizations. Dr. Chow notes that this recommendation was made due to increases in antibiotic resistance as well as the common use of pneumococcal vaccines, which have changed the pattern of bacteria that cause sinus infections.

The IDSA guidelines use the new GRADE system (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation), which is designed to more clearly assess the quality of evidence and strength of recommendations. The new IDSA guidelines note that randomized controlled trials referenced in previous guidelines often don't differentiate between bacterial and viral cause of infection, and therefore may not provide the best recommendations.

"These are the first evidence-based rhinosinusitis guidelines using the GRADE system," said Thomas M. File Jr., MD, co-author of the guidelines and chair of the Infectious Disease Section at Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio. "Health care providers face difficulties when treating sinus infections, and these guidelines provide the best recommendations available. The guidelines are transparent, clearly stating the level of evidence for each recommendation and pointing out where we need more research."

The IDSA rhinosinusitis guidelines contain a number of other recommendations, including:
How to tell the difference – The guidelines note a sinus infection is likely caused by bacteria and should be treated promptly with antibiotics if:

- symptoms last for 10 days or more and are not improving (previous guidelines suggested waiting seven days); or

- symptoms are severe, including fever of 102 or higher, nasal discharge and facial pain lasting 3-4 days in a row; or

- symptoms get worse, with new fever, headache or increased nasal discharge, typically after a viral upper respiratory infection that lasted five or six days and initially seemed to improve.

Shorter treatment time – Most guidelines to date have recommended 10 days to two weeks of antibiotic treatment for a bacterial infection. However, the IDSA guidelines suggest five to seven days of antibiotics is long enough to treat a bacterial infection without encouraging resistance. The IDSA guidelines still do recommend children receive antibiotic treatment for 10 days to two weeks.

Avoid decongestants and antihistamines – Whether the sinus infection is bacterial or viral, decongestant and antihistamines are not helpful and may make symptoms worse. Nasal steroids can help ease symptoms in people who have sinus infections and a history of allergies.

Saline irrigation may help – The guidelines note nasal irrigation using a sterile solution – including sprays, drops or liquid – may help relieve some symptoms. However, the guidelines note this may not be helpful in children because they are less likely to tolerate the discomfort of the therapy.

To ease symptoms of a sinus infection, Dr. File said he recommends patients take acetaminophen for sinus pain, use saline irrigation and drink plenty of fluids.

The voluntary guidelines are not intended to take the place of a doctor's judgment, but rather support the decision-making process, which must be individualized according to each patient's circumstances.

The 11-member guidelines panel comprises rhinosinusitis experts representing a variety of organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College of Physicians, and the Society of Academic Medicine. In addition to Drs. Chow and File, the rhinosinusitis guidelines panel includes: Michael S. Benninger, Itzhak Brook, Jan L. Brozek, Ellie J.C. Goldstein, Lauri A. Hicks, George A. Pankey, Mitchel Seleznick, Gregory Volturo, and Ellen R. Wald.

IDSA has published more than 50 treatment guidelines on various conditions and infections, ranging from HIV/AIDS to Clostridium difficile. As with other IDSA guidelines, the rhinosinusitis guidelines will be available in a format designed for iPhones and other mobile devices, and in a pocket-sized quick-reference edition. Note: For a copy of the rhinosinusitis guidelines, to be published in the April 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, please contact Ashley Mattys at (312) 558-1770 or amattys@pcipr.com. The guidelines are embargoed until 12:01 a.m. EDT on March 21, 2012.

Founded in 1979, Clinical Infectious Diseases publishes clinical articles twice monthly in a variety of areas of infectious disease, and is one of the most highly regarded journals in this specialty.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is an organization of physicians, scientists, and other health care professionals dedicated to promoting health through excellence in infectious diseases research, education, patient care, prevention, and public health. The Society, which has nearly 10,000 members, was founded in 1963 and is based in Arlington, Va. For more information, see www.idsociety.org.

Ashley Mattys | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.idsociety.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>