Are broad-spectrum or narrow-spectrum antibiotics preferred in the treatment of acute sinusitis?

Updated: Apr 22, 2020
  • Author: Ted L Tewfik, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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In retrospective and prospective studies of pediatric patients with acute respiratory tract infection, including 4234 and 667 with acute sinusitis in the retrospective and prospective studies, respectively, Gerber et al found clinical outcomes with broad-spectrum antibiotics to be no better than those with narrow-spectrum antibiotics. In the retrospective patient cohort, for example, broad-spectrum antibiotics were associated with a 3.4% treatment failure rate, versus a 3.1% rate for the narrow-spectrum drugs. Moreover, in the prospective study, the risk of adverse events, as documented by clinicians, was higher for broad-spectrum antibiotics (3.7%) than for the narrow-spectrum treatments (2.7%). [8]

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