The sinus is an air-filled, hollow cavity present in the skull. There are 4 pairs of sinus hollow cavities in humans, i.e., behind the cheeks, in the forehead, deeply posterior to the ethmoids, and between the eyes.
Excessive growth of bacteria, viruses, fungi, or other pathogens in the sinuses can result in sinus infections; it is marked by sporadic blockage of the cavities.
Some common symptoms of sinus infection include inflammation of nasal passages and paranasal sinuses lining, fever, nasal congestion, and pain in the face. It is usually treated with antibiotics.
Antibiotics for sinusitis or sinus infections
Sinus infections can also occur due to autoimmune reactions and allergies. Viral infections are not treated with antibiotics. It is only prescribed for bacterial infections of the sinuses, as per the severity levels.
Different kinds of antibiotics help further growth of bacteria as well as destroy them. They also help ease nasal blockage and sinus headaches. Broad range antibiotics can help kill different species of bacteria, while narrow spectrum antibiotics can destroy only certain kinds of bacteria.
Different antibiotics work different in different persons. Hence, it is not so easy to determine the best antibiotic for sinus infection. Doctors will take into account the severity and nature of sinus infection before prescribing antibiotics. Patients should take antibiotics for sinusitis only after consulting a doctor.
A few common antibiotics for sinus infection are listed below:
- Amoxicillin: It destroys the bacteria’s cell walls and thus kills it. Doctors may prescribe macrolides or penicillin for those allergic to amoxicillin.
- Cotrim: Patients who elicit an abnormal response to or are allergic to antibiotics from penicillin family are usually given cotrim. It consists of 2 antibiotics, i.e., sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. Patients allergic to either of the 2 ingredients need to avoid cotrim intake. Bacteria produce some folic acid and get some from other sources. It is essential for their survival. Cotrim destroys their ability to make folic acid, thereby killing them.
- Moxifloxacin: It is a newly made antibiotic for sinus infections. New kinds of antibiotics are necessary for killing bacteria that develop resistance to older antibiotics. Moxifloxacin helps cure stubborn or chronic sinus infections.
- Zithromax/Azithromycin: It belongs to the macrolides family and is regarded as the best antibiotic for bronchitis and sinus infections. It is effective in treating respiratory tract bacterial infections as well as sinusitis. It reduces the symptoms and hampers bacterial growth. It works by hampering the bacteria’s ability to create protein needed for their survival, thereby making them weak. The immune system then effectively and easily manages the bacterial infection.
- Cefuroxime/Ceftin: Doctors prescribe it for treating severe and acute cases of sinus infections marked by serious symptoms. Doctors may also recommend the drug to patients who show no improvement after amoxicillin intake. Ceftin destroys the bacterial cell walls and thus kills them.
Antibiotics for sinus infections are usually given for 10 to 14 days, while it may continue for 14 to 21 days for some patients. Augmentin antibiotic, over a longer course, may be prescribed for treating chronic sinusitis. Fluoroquinolones and cephalosporins are regarded as the best broad range antibiotics for sinus infections.