Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) Medicines
Although it is thought that chronic sinusitis is caused more by inflammation than an infection, antibiotics are often prescribed. These medicines are usually needed at one time or another because people with chronic sinusitis will almost always develop a bacterial infection from time to time.
The choice of antibiotics used for chronic sinusitis will depend on a number of factors. Antibiotics that may be recommended include one or a combination of the following:
- Amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium (Augmentin®)
- Moxifloxacin (Avelox®)
- Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (Bactrim®, Bactrim® DS, Septra®, Septra® DS, Sulfatrim®)
- Cefdinir (Omnicef®)
- Cefuroxime (Ceftin®)
- Clarithromycin (Biaxin®)
- Levofloxacin (Levaquin®)
- Azithromycin (Zithromax®).
Antibiotics are generally given in higher doses and for longer periods in people with chronic sinus infections, compared to acute sinus infections.
For those who do not get better with other treatments, the healthcare provider may recommend a leukotriene modifier in addition to nasal steroids to help with congestion and postnasal drainage. These medicines are approved to treat allergies and asthma, and are used off-label for chronic sinusitis.
Examples of leukotriene modifiers include: