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Sinus Related Articles > Medications for chronic or recurrent sinusitis

Medications for chronic or recurrent sinusitis

First a thorough diagnostic work-up should be performed to rule out any underlying conditions. In case a primary trigger for chronic sinusitis is identified, it should be treated or controlled.

A broad-spectrum antibiotic taken for at least 30 days.

A corticosteroid nasal spray. Oral corticosteroids may be recommended in some cases.

Saline nasal washes are widely recommended. (Neti Pot preferable)

If the condition improves in two months, then the antibiotics are stopped. The patient should continue with both the steroid and saline nasal solutions. If there is no improvement after this time, the surgery may be considered.

In some cases, the condition is not curable. The treatment is meant only to improve the quality of life.

Antibiotics for Chronic Sinusitis

The aerobic and anaerobic bacteria present in chronic sinusitis are often different from those that cause the acute form, and more potent and expensive antibiotics are usually needed to oppose these organisms. Antibiotic treatment in such cases may continue for several weeks.

Intravenous antibiotic therapy has been found to be effective in children and adolescents with chronic sinusitis, sometimes, even eliminating the need for surgery.

Corticosteroids for Chronic Sinusitis

Corticosteroid nasal sprays are sometimes prescribed to reduce inflammation that occurs in certain cases of chronic sinusitis.

Corticosteroids, or steroids, are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. They are not infection fighters and can actually prolong infections and are generally not used for bacterial sinusitis. Steroid sprays may injure the nasal septum (the bony area that separates the nasal passage) if the spray is directed onto it. In rare cases they can cause headaches or nosebleed.


Leukotriene-antagonists are oral drugs that block leukotrienes, powerful immune system factors that are important in causing airway constriction and mucus production in allergy-related asthma.

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