Acute bacterial rhinosinusitis in adults is a common malady, with between 30 million to 35 million cases a year. These patients are seen by a range of practitioners, from primary care physicians to otolaryngologists. Findings from a meta-analysis that examined the use of antibiotics for treatment of these patients, Systematic Review of Antimicrobials for Acute Rhinosinusitis by authors Michael C. Singer, MD, Richard M Rosenfeld, MD, MPH, and Stacie Schilling Jones, MPH, were presented at the 2007 American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNSF) annual meeting today.
Researchers noted several interesting points revealed in their research, including that the natural course of acute rhinosinusitis in adults is more prolonged than traditionally thought. Only a small minority of patients is cured or report improvement after three to five days, even when treated with an antibiotic. A second finding showed that antibiotics do provide a benefit in regard to the number of patients improved or cured, but only seven to 12 days after initiation of treatment with antibiotics. Before seven days, antibiotics do not provide a significant advantage, compared to treating simply with a placebo. An additional finding is the significant frequency at which negative side effects, such as gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea, occur with antibiotic treatment.
Findings from the study may help to determine a natural history of acute rhinosinusitis in adults, and what to expect when antimicrobial therapy is administered.
Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery