Patients With Bacterial Sinusitis Report Initial Antibiotic Was Not Effective, According to Survey


WEST HAVEN, Conn. -- Almost 40 percent of acute bacterial sinusitis sufferers report the antibiotic they were initially prescribed did not work the first time, according to a national survey conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide. Furthermore, nearly two-thirds experience at least two or more sinusitis attacks per year.(1) These survey findings demonstrate the need for the appropriate prescription of effective antibiotics for the 37 million Americans who suffer from sinusitis(2) -- a condition characterized by facial pain and pressure, nasal congestion and a disruptive impact on daily life.(3)

"It is a significant concern that such a large portion of acute bacterial sinusitis patients are not having success with their first course of antibiotic therapy," said Paul Obert, MD, an ear, nose and throat specialist and head and neck surgeon from Birmingham, Ala. "Treating acute bacterial sinusitis with an appropriate agent first against the expected pathogen in the patient increases the likelihood of wiping out the infection quickly and completely."

Obert is one of many people who have suffered from acute bacterial sinusitis, and his experience offers an interesting perspective on the importance of symptom relief. An avid mountain climber, Obert began his quest to climb the highest peaks on each continent, known as the "Seven Summits," in 2001. He set out to climb Mt. Everest, his seventh and final summit, in the spring of 2003. He developed acute bacterial sinusitis at Everest base camp at 18,000 feet. He took Avelox (moxifloxacin HCl), an antibiotic indicated for the treatment for acute bacterial sinusitis, which resolved his infection in a matter of days.

"Based on scientific studies and clinical experience, I took Avelox with me when I climbed Everest because I knew that it was powerful enough to cure acute bacterial sinusitis and would allow me to finish the climb," said Obert.

Obert reached the summit of Mt. Everest on May 30, 2003, becoming one of only 31 Americans and 80 people worldwide to reach the "Seven Summits."(4)

In the survey of 1,001 people, 209 were diagnosed with sinusitis and almost four in five sufferers were prescribed an antibiotic for a bacterial infection. The survey also found:

* More than half characterize their symptoms as "severe" or

"painfully severe;"

* 63 percent of respondents name quick symptom relief as the most

important attribute of an antibiotic treatment;

* Only 41 percent of sinusitis sufferers say they are "very satisfied"

with their current antibiotic treatment;

* 79 percent of respondents lost sleep during their sinusitis attacks;

* 37 percent missed at least one day of work;

* 36 percent spent a significant amount of money on treatments;

* 34 percent cancelled planned vacation or leisure activities.(5)

Acute sinusitis, which usually lasts for three weeks or less, can be caused by a bacterial infection and usually occurs as a late complication of the common cold. Nasal congestion produces swelling in the sinus cavity, obstructs drainage and causes mucus to stagnate, providing a perfect breeding ground for infection.(6) Over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines may help to relieve the symptoms of viral sinusitis. However, bacterial sinusitis needs to be diagnosed by a physician and treated with an antibiotic.(7) A doctor should be consulted if symptoms don't improve within three days.(8)

Avelox is approved to treat Acute Bacterial Exacerbations of Chronic Bronchitis (ABECB) caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Haemophilus parainfluenzae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, or Moraxella catarrhalis; Community Acquired Pneumonia (CAP) caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae (including penicillin-resistant strains, MIC value for penicillin greater than or equal to 2 mcg/mL), Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, or Chlamydia pneumoniae; Acute Bacterial Sinusitis (ABS) caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, or Moraxella catarrhalis; and uncomplicated Skin and Skin Structure Infections (uSSSI) caused by Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes.


(1) Wirthlin Worldwide Sinusitis Treatment Perceptions Survey.

October 2003.

(2) American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

"20 Questions About Sinusitis." Available at Accessed

on October 22, 2003.

(3) Desrosiers, et al. Acute Bacterial Sinusitis in Adults: Management in

the Primary Care Setting. The Journal of Otolaryngology. Volume 31,

Supplement Number 1, 2002:31-42.

(4) "The Seven Summits - Kosciuszko Version: Updated

July 14, 2003." Available at Accessed on

October 31, 2003.

(5) Wirthlin Worldwide Sinusitis Treatment Perceptions Survey.

October 2003.

(6) American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, "Patient/Public

Education: Fast Facts Sinusitis."

(7) Fact Sheet: Antibiotics and Sinusitis." American Academy of

Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Available at

Accessed on September 24, 2003.

(8) Mayo Clinic. "Acute Sinusitis: Treatment." Available at

AFC09B1627F588A6&section=7. Accessed on September 25, 2003

Source: Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals

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