London, Mar 14: If your answer to stuffy sinuses is antibiotics, then here's a new flash for you - the drugs prescribed for the common infection do not work. According to new research, published in The Lancet, doctors should cut down on antibiotic prescriptions for sinus because the drugs do not work. An analysis of nine trials shows the drugs make no difference even if the patient has been ill for more than seven days. Sinusitis is very common - often occurring after colds or flu. The infection of the sinuses - small air pockets inside the cheekbones and forehead - causes a high temperature, pain and tenderness in the face and forehead, and a blocked or runny nose.
In the research, which looked at how long 2,600 patients were ill before they received treatment, found time of illness is not a good indicator of whether antibiotics will be effective. Because of side-effects, costs, and the risk of resistance, antibiotics are not justified even if patients have been ill for longer than a week, the researchers concluded. The figures showed 15 patients would need to be treated before one would be cured with antibiotics. "If a patient comes to the GP and says they have had the complaint for seven to 10 days that's not a good enough reason for giving them the antibiotic," BBC quoted Study leader, Dr Jim Young, from the Basel Institute for Clinical Epidemiology in Switzerland, as saying.