Sinusitis 14 Day Antibiotics Durations and Limitations of Use

Published: 07th June 2010
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Antibiotics have two properties that make them suitable for treatment of sinusitis. One, is the property to kill the causative agent, and the other is the property that allows it to prevent bacterial growth. Both can effectively cause the symptoms of sinusitis to subside over a period of days.

Typical Durations of Antibiotic Use
Usually, antibiotics are prescribed for an initial period of 7 to 14 days, with some doctors prescribing a round of antibiotics that is enough to cover another week. During this timeframe, symptoms of bacterial sinusitis are expected to improve, if not completely subside. However, it is always possible for the bacteria to resist the properties of the antibiotic or develop immunity towards it. In which case, other options are integrated into the treatment method.

The possibility that the sinusitis condition is chronic should not be dismissed as well. If your symptoms do not improve within the first two weeks of treatment, you can ask your doctor for another evaluation as you may already have chronic sinusitis.

With this type of sinusitis, symptoms can be experienced for a minimum of 3 or 4 weeks to as long as 1 year. The duration of the infection is variable and the use of antibiotics should be tailored to the combination and severity of symptoms.

Once it is established that you have chronic sinusitis, you will then be prescribed with a new regimen with a round of medications sufficient for the duration of 21 days. Again, symptoms are expected to completely subside within this period. If not, the duration of antibiotic use is extended to 6 weeks or longer.

Included in this new regimen are the broad-spectrum or second-line antibiotics which are meant to kill both aerobic and non-aerobic pathogens as well as penicillin-resistant organisms.

Limitations of Antibiotic Use
Antibiotics are without flaw, though. There are limitations to using antibiotics for sinusitis.

First of all, all antibiotics cannot do much for viral sinusitis or any condition that is viral in nature. This is because antibiotics are not made to cater any condition that is not caused by bacteria. Colds and other viral upper respiratory conditions are, therefore, resistant to the effects of any antibiotic.

In addition, the effects of antibiotics tend to wear off over time due to some factors, including the property of the pathogens to develop immunity against the antibiotic. When this happens, no amount of your old antibiotic can help with your symptoms. When this happens, consult your doctor and ask for new treatment options.

Some clinical studies also show that prolonged use of antibiotics can cause your immune system defenses to become weaker. Repeated rounds of this medication can deplete your body of the friendly flora in the intestine, thereby allowing yeast to form and produce excessive amounts of toxin. This results to a domino effect that ultimately compromises your immune system defenses, making you less capable of responding to attacks by pathogens. It is, therefore, recommended that you do not overuse any of the antibiotics prescribed to you.

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