What are the medications used to treat sinusitis?
This list of medications that have been suggested for the treatment of sinusitis is quite long, and all you have to do is look in your local pharmacy for hundreds of over the counter treatments. For acute sinusitis (an infection that typically occurs after a cold and lasts less than four weeks), antibiotics are the main treatment. Nasal saline irrigation or spray is another treatment with little risk. Nasal decongestant sprays (pseudophedrine or oxymetazaline) can also be recommended for use for three days and may improve the stuffy nose but absolutely should not be used for any longer. There are also numerous combination products that have decongestants, antihistamines and products that thin mucus. These have no proven benefit it sinusitis.
As an infection progresses beyond four weeks, treatment may change. Antibiotics that cover more types of bacteria may be utilized for longer than the typical 10-14 days. Steroid sprays to decrease inflammation and oral steroids (i.e. Prednisone) may also be used. It is not uncommon to get CT (cat) scans to evaluate sub-acute and chronic sinusitis and a culture of nasal mucus can help to choose the appropriate antibiotic.
Allergy medications (antihistamines, nasal steroids, nasal antihistamine sprays, allergy shots) have a role in treating allergy which is one of the major causes of nasal swelling. If someone does not have allergy, these treatments are of little benefit (with the possible exception of nasal steroids).
* Note: The information contained in these pages is for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as individualized diagnostic and treatment advice.