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What are some antibiotics used to treat sinusitis?

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Quick Answer

Antibiotics used to treat sinusitis include amoxicillin, doxycycline or the combination of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole, according to Mayo Clinic. Antibiotics are only necessary if the infection is caused by bacteria and is severe or recurrent.

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Full Answer

Sinusitis is a sinus infection characterized by swelling or inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses. Sinuses are usually filled with air, but when they become clogged and filled with fluid, bacteria, fungi and viruses can develop and trigger infection, says WebMD. Sinus blockage can be caused by conditions such as the common cold, nasal polyps, allergic rhinitis or a deviated septum.

Sinusitis can either be acute, subacute, chronic or recurrent. Acute sinusitis is characterized by a sudden outbreak of cold-like symptoms, such as facial pain and a runny, stuffy nose, that persist after 10 to 14 days and can last for up to four weeks. Subacute sinusitis lasts four to eight weeks, while chronic sinusitis lasts eight weeks or longer. Recurrent sinusitis can occur several times within a year, explains WebMD.

To reduce congestion from sinusitis, the doctor prescribes nasal sprays, oral decongestant medicine or nose drops, notes WebMD. If the patient has severe chronic sinusitis, the doctor may prescribe oral steroids, normally only when other medications fail. If the infection is bacterial, the doctor prescribes antibiotics, and if fungal, antifungal medicine. The doctor also recommends an antihistamine to treat allergies and prescribes immunoglobulin if the patient has some immune deficiencies.

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