Why would antibiotics work if it is not a sinus infection?
By Thomas S. Higgins, Jr., MD, MSPH
Does this describe you? "Every time I'm on antibiotics I feel better but when I stop them I feel worse again." And then a bombshell hits: your doctor tells you that YOU DON'T HAVE A SINUS INFECTION! How could this be?
Let's explore this.
From my experience of seeing thousands of patients a year with sinusitis, I consider two scenarios that cause someone to be "dependent" on antibiotics:
1) You actually have a resistant or refractory sinus infection. Okay, this is straightforward, find the underlying cause and treat.
2) You do not have a bacterial sinus infection, and the reason for recurrence is that antibiotics are not the best treatment. Many scenarios fit in this category, including but not limited to, allergies, viral colds, and headache syndromes.
But let's get back to the point. If the condition is NOT a bacterial infection, why would antibiotics make you feel better? There are a few reasons for this phenomenon.
So what's so bad about taking antibiotics anyway?
So what? So what if it is not a bacteria sinus infection. If it makes you feel better, why not take antibiotics? This question is great, and you need to know the answer, not just for yourself but for your elderly family member who, as frail as can be, may at any point get a resistant, life-threatening infection.
Bacteria are keen adapters, and they become resistant to antibiotics to which they are frequently exposed.
Increasing resistance to antibiotics has been demonstrated and inappropriate antibiotic use continues to worsen this pattern (5). Thus, antibiotics should be reserved for bacterial infections.
To see Dr. Thomas Higgins, a fellowship-trained Rhinologist (Sinus Specialist) , click below
or call (502) 894-8441.
or call (502) 894-8441.
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3. Ocana M, Baeyens JM. Analgesic effects of centrally administered aminoglycoside antibiotics in mice. Neurosci Lett. 1991;126(1):67–70.
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