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Inappropriate Drugs Still Given for Sinus Woes

Many doctors are still prescribing inappropriate powerful antibiotics to children with sinus problems. "Broad spectrum" antibiotics are a common, but unnecessary, treatment for the illness.

Acute sinusitis often begins when a cold, which is caused by a virus. Viruses can't be treated with antibiotics, but sometimes the resulting inflammation leads to a bacterial infection. Even such an infection, however, usually does not require a broad spectrum antibiotic.

Reuters reports:

"In the 10 years spanning 1998 to 2007, trips to the doctor for acute sinusitis held steady; they ranged from 11 to 14 visits for every 1,000 children ... In a subset of 389 children, the researchers found that 82 percent left with a prescription for any antibiotic; this figure also held steady throughout the study period."

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