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Medications for Sinusitis

Other names: Acute Sinusitis; Chronic Sinusitis; Infection, sinus; Sinus Infection; Sinusitis, Acute; Sinusitis, Chronic

What is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of the tissues that line our sinuses. Sinuses are air-filled spaces within our skull that help to filter and moisten the air we breathe, give resonance to our voices and make our skull lighter. We have four pairs of sinuses in total, located between the eyes and behind the forehead, nose, and cheeks.

Cells that make up the tissues that line our sinuses have two main functions – they either produce mucus to trap microbes and pollutants or have tiny hairs on their surface called cilia that sweep the mucus out of the sinus through tiny openings called ostia back into the nose.

Infection, allergy, or pollutants can cause inflammation of the lining of the sinuses, which causes thickening of mucus and an increase in production. This can clog one or more of the ostia, preventing drainage of mucus back into the nasal cavity. Pressure builds up, and symptoms of sinusitis develop. Common symptoms include:

  • Nasal congestion or a blocked nose
  • A thick green or yellow nasal discharge
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Facial or dental pain (may feel like a toothache)
  • Loss of smell
  • Pain that worsens when lying down.

Most cases of sinusitis are caused by viruses and occur following a cold or the flu, or are due to allergies or pollutants such as cigarette smoke. However, it is common for bacteria to also become trapped, so even if bacteria were not the original cause of the sinusitis, they take advantage of the moist, airless environment and quickly multiply, contributing to the symptoms and prolonging the course of the condition.

Acute sinusitis is sinusitis that persists for less than three weeks and occurs no more than three times in one year. Chronic sinusitis is sinusitis that lasts for more than 12 weeks.

How is sinusitis diagnosed?

Symptoms of sinusitis mimic a cold in the early stages and diagnosis can be difficult. However, sinusitis tends to persist long after cold symptoms have resolved and symptoms can last for three weeks or more. Sinus infections are also more likely to cause symptoms such as facial or tooth pain, green nasal discharge, and fever.

Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and any history of illness leading up to this episode of sinusitis. The doctor will also perform a simple office examination and look into your ears, nose and throat, and take your temperature.

Other examinations or procedures may be undertaken to rule out other conditions or if the diagnosis is uncertain.

How is Sinusitis Treated?

Sinusitis often resolves itself without any treatment. However, the following may be considered to speed recovery and prevent chronic sinusitis from developing:

  • Saline nasal sprays
  • Pain relievers
  • Decongestants
  • Antihistamines
  • Nasal corticosteroids
  • Antibiotics.

Drugs Used to Treat Sinusitis

The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition.

Drug name Rx / OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol Reviews Rating Popularity
Augmentin B N 134 reviews
5.3

Generic name: amoxicillin / clavulanate systemic

Drug class: beta-lactamase inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

amoxicillin B N 17 reviews
5.1

Generic name: amoxicillin systemic

Brand names:  Amoxil, Apo-Amoxi

Drug class: aminopenicillins

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Azithromycin Dose Pack B N 15 reviews
6.6

Generic name: azithromycin systemic

Drug class: macrolides

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

prednisone C N 42 reviews
7.1

Generic name: prednisone systemic

Drug class: glucocorticoids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

amoxicillin / clavulanate B N 259 reviews
4.9

Generic name: amoxicillin / clavulanate systemic

Brand names:  Augmentin, Augmentin XR, Amoclan

Drug class: beta-lactamase inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

cefdinir B N 128 reviews
3.9

Generic name: cefdinir systemic

Drug class: third generation cephalosporins

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

azithromycin B N 124 reviews
6.8

Generic name: azithromycin systemic

Brand names:  Azithromycin Dose Pack, Zithromax

Drug class: macrolides

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Levaquin C N 121 reviews
5.5

Generic name: levofloxacin systemic

Drug class: quinolones

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

levofloxacin C N 165 reviews
5.4

Generic name: levofloxacin systemic

Brand name:  Levaquin

Drug class: quinolones

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Zithromax B N 29 reviews
8.2

Generic name: azithromycin systemic

Drug class: macrolides

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Cipro C N 9 reviews
3.8

Generic name: ciprofloxacin systemic

Drug class: quinolones

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Amoxil B N 4 reviews
6.7

Generic name: amoxicillin systemic

Drug class: aminopenicillins

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

cefuroxime B N 40 reviews
6.6

Generic name: cefuroxime systemic

Brand names:  Ceftin, Zinacef

Drug class: second generation cephalosporins

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

ciprofloxacin C N 33 reviews
6.7

Generic name: ciprofloxacin systemic

Brand names:  Cipro, Cipro I.V., Cipro XR

Drug class: quinolones

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

clindamycin B N 28 reviews
6.8

Generic name: clindamycin systemic

Brand names:  Cleocin, Cleocin HCl, Cleocin Pediatric, Cleocin Phosphate …show all

Drug class: lincomycin derivatives

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

clarithromycin C N 172 reviews
5.4

Generic name: clarithromycin systemic

Brand name:  Biaxin XL

Drug class: macrolides

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Avelox C N 60 reviews
6.4

Generic name: moxifloxacin systemic

Drug class: quinolones

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim D N X 63 reviews
4.8

Generic name: sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim systemic

Brand names:  Bactrim, Bactrim DS, Septra, Septra DS, Co-trimoxazole, Sulfatrim Pediatric …show all

Drug class: sulfonamides

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, Prescribing Information

Bactrim D N X 19 reviews
4.6

Generic name: sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim systemic

Drug class: sulfonamides

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Ceftin B N 16 reviews
7.2

Generic name: cefuroxime systemic

Drug class: second generation cephalosporins

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Bactrim DS D N X 27 reviews
4.9

Generic name: sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim systemic

Drug class: sulfonamides

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

Cefzil B N 3 reviews
7.0

Generic name: cefprozil systemic

Drug class: second generation cephalosporins

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Septra D N X Add review
0.0

Generic name: sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim systemic

Drug class: sulfonamides

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Cleocin B N 4 reviews
7.8

Generic name: clindamycin systemic

Drug class: lincomycin derivatives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

moxifloxacin C N 64 reviews
6.4

Generic name: moxifloxacin systemic

Brand names:  Avelox, Avelox I.V.

Drug class: quinolones

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Topics under Sinusitis

Alternative treatments for Sinusitis

The following products are considered to be alternative treatments or natural remedies for Sinusitis. Their efficacy may not have been scientifically tested to the same degree as the drugs listed in the table above. However there may be historical, cultural or anecdotal evidence linking their use to the treatment of Sinusitis.

Learn more about Sinusitis

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Drugs.com Health Center

Mayo Clinic Reference

ICD-10 CM Clinical Codes (External)

Legend

Rx Prescription Only
OTC Over the Counter
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over the Counter
Off Label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

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Further information

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