Antibiotics for sinusitis may be overprescribed

03/15/2005 | NYTimes.com

If antibiotics are prescribed for most sinusitis cases, they are being "way overprescribed," as studies consistently show antibiotics are of no reliable benefit when used to treat the common criteria for sinus infections. The only way to tell for certain if an infection is present is to examine a nasal pus sample under a microscope, which physicians rarely do; and if patients are given an antibiotic for a viral infection, the medication will increase their chance of being infected with drug-resistant bacteria.

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