Skip to content

Allergies Health Center

Font Size

Sinusitis - Medications

Medicines may be needed when symptoms of sinusitis are severe or do not improve. The goals of treatment with medicine are to:

  • Treat the infection, which is usually caused by bacteria if your symptoms have lasted more than 7 to 10 days.
  • Relieve pressure and pain caused by poor sinus drainage.
  • Reduce inflammation of the nose and sinuses.

Medicine choices

Medicines are used and sometimes combined to treat sinusitis.

What to think about

If you are taking antibiotics for a sinus infection, do not stop taking the antibiotics early just because you feel better. Take the entire course of antibiotics. The infection may not go away if you do not take all of the antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.

Antibiotic treatment is successful in most cases of short-term (acute) sinusitis when it is caused by bacteria. You should notice improvement within 3 to 4 days after you begin taking an antibiotic.

Chronic sinusitis may last 12 weeks or longer and usually requires 3 to 4 weeks of antibiotic treatment. Symptoms may persist or return despite adequate antibiotic treatment. A different antibiotic may be needed to treat the infection. Referral to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist (also called an otolaryngologist) may be needed if symptoms of sinusitis do not go away despite long-term antibiotic treatment.

Sinusitis: Should I Take Antibiotics?

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 12, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
1
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

man blowing nose
Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
Allergy capsule
Breathe easier with these products.
 
cat on couch
Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
Which ones affect you?
 

woman sneezing
Slideshow
Bottle of allergy capsules and daisies
Article
 
Urban blossoms
Slideshow
Woman blowing nose
Slideshow
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Woman with itchy watery eyes
Slideshow
Allergy prick test
VIDEO
 
Man sneezing into tissue
Tools
woman with duster crinkling nose
Quiz