Volume 5, Issue 17
April 26, 2012
Got a sinus infection?
If you’ve read Real Cures for long, you probably know the real nature of chronic sinus infections. The main cause is not bacteria.
According to some very strong evidence from the Mayo clinic, the cause of chronic sinus infections is almost always a fungus. And fungi do not respond to antibiotics. In fact, a known complication of antibiotics is that they will actually worsen a fungal infection.
But now the news for antibiotics gets worse. There’s new evidence that antibiotics are useless for acute sinus infections as well as the chronic variety. That’s because the cause of most acute sinus infections is viral. And, again, antibiotics won’t work.
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The authors of the article in the Journal of the American Medical Association start off very skeptical. They point out that the evidence that antibiotics work for acute sinus infections “is limited, although they are commonly used.” So they wanted to find out if there was benefit from using antibiotics at all. So they recruited 166 men and women with acute sinus infections and split them into two groups.
They gave one group a 10-day course of amoxicillin, the broad spectrum antibiotic most doctors use for acute sinus infections. The other group took a placebo. Neither the patients nor the doctors knew who was taking what. The researchers also gave both groups a five-to-seven-day supply of symptomatic treatments. These included over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants as needed for pain, fever, cough, and nasal congestion.
The researchers then looked to see if there was any difference at all between the two groups in terms of days missed from work, inability to perform usual activities, rates of relapse and recurrence, additional need for doctor visits, and satisfaction with treatment. The conclusion was that there were no differences at all.
One of the researchers, Jay Piccirillo, MD, of Washington University in St. Louis, stated that the results “provide further evidence for what we've really suspected for a long time — that in the management of patients with acute sinusitis, antibiotics do not convey any additional benefit.” You might as well just wait it out with over-the-counter medications.
Another doctor, Lee Green, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who wasn't involved in the study, went even further. Dr. Green said it’s “no surprise that [amoxicillin] doesn't help. Sinusitis is almost always viral anyway.” As for doctors who prescribe azithromycin (Zithromax Z-Pak) for sinus infections, he said, “If anything, it’s less effective. The prevalence of its prescribing represents sloppy practice. It’s a fad.” (With the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, it’s a very dangerous fad.)
So if antibiotics are a waste of time, what really will work for sinus infections? I don’t think there is a better treatment than ozone therapy. Not only does this work incredibly well in acute infections, it is equally effective in chronic infections. You can find out all about ozone therapy on my website. And you can find a doctor who does ozone at www.oxygenhealingtherapies.com.
Finding your Real Cures,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Garbutt JM, et al "Amoxicillin for acute rhinosinusitis: A randomized controlled trial" JAMA 2012; 307(7): 685-692.
Antibiotics No Help for Sinusitis By Kristina Fiore, Staff Writer, MedPage Today Published: February 14, 2012.
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