According to an article in JAMA Internal Medicine, most antibiotic courses to treat an acute sinus infection in adults were 10 days or longer, even though the Infectious Diseases Society of America recommends five to seven days for uncomplicated cases.
Sinus infections (sinusitis) are the most common condition for which outpatient antibiotic treatment is prescribed. Almost 3.7 million visits by adults to physicians where antibiotics were prescribed for acute sinusitis using a 2016 national index.
Antibiotics were grouped as penicillins, tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones, cephalosporins, azithromycin or other; treatment duration in days was described for all antibiotic prescriptions, all antibiotic prescriptions excluding azithromycin, and antibiotic prescriptions by drug group.
Overall, 69.6% of antibiotic therapies were prescribed for 10 days or longer. When prescriptions for azithromycin were excluded, 91.5% of antibiotic courses were 10 days or longer.
When antibiotics are indicated for treatment of bacterial sinusitis, a treatment duration in line with the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s practice guidelines is an antibiotic stewardship opportunity to reduce the use of unnecessary antibiotics.