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What is the best antibiotic to treat a sinus infection?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on March 31, 2023.

Official answer


An acute sinus infection, also called sinusitis, is usually caused by a virus. Most cases of sinusitis clear up within 10 days. Antibiotics are not needed for acute viral sinusitis.

If a secondary bacterial infection should develop, one treatment of choice is amoxicillin-clavulanate (Augmentin).

In patients who have severe allergy to penicillin-type drugs, doxycycline is a reasonable alternative.

Due to recent FDA warnings about joint pain and other issues with fluoroquinolones, such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro) or levofloxacin (Levaquin), this class of drug should be avoided when possible for less serious infections. Antibiotic treatment should always be guided by your physician.

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