In another story highlighting the unnecisary prescription of antibiotics; a recent study specifically on sinusitis has found that placebo (a pill containing nothing in it) is just as effective as the antibiotic prescribed.
Scientists randomized 166 adults, all of whom met the diagnostic criteria for sinusitis, to receive the antibiotic amoxicillin or a placebo three times a day for 10 days. On the third, seventh and tenth days, the participants recorded their symptoms.
There was no significant difference between the two groups in the amounts of time missed from work or everyday activities, relapse or recurrence rates, adverse effects or satisfaction with the treatment. Nor was there any difference in self-reported improvement in symptoms, except on the seventh day, when 74 percent of those taking amoxicillin reported improvement, compared with 56 percent of those on the placebo.
The authors acknowledge that it is possible that not all patients in the study had bacterial sinusitis, since the diagnosis is made clinically, not by a laboratory test. (Antibiotics, of course, are ineffective against a viral infection.)
“I hope that the results here will give doctors evidence to use in discussions with patients about avoiding unnecessary antibiotic treatment,” said the lead author, Dr. Jane M. Garbutt of Washington University in St. Louis.
The study appeared last week in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Original published story ran here: