Kid Has Sinusitis? Don’t Dive for the Antibiotics
Everyone in my corner of medicine is talking about the latest pediatric guidelines for treating children with sinus infections. In a widely expected release, doctors recently extended the recommended wait time before prescribing antibiotics from 10 days to 13.
As it happens, antibiotic resistance is just one reason why. The other is that several studies suggest that many people – adults included – recover on their own from sinusitis without such powerful prescription interventions:
“There’s nothing inviolate about 10 days,” says Dr. Ellen Wald, chair of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin who led the committee writing the new guidelines for the American Academy of Pediatrics. “If you want to give them another day or two to see if they get better on their own, that’s perfectly reasonable.”
This is all part of a growing trend toward doing less and waiting more in medicine, following in the footsteps of recent newsmaking changes surrounding mammograms and prostate exams. In the world of sinus medicine, the trend has focused on using fewer antibiotics, and on prescribing these medications more carefully when necessary.
My sinus practice has long considered powerful antibiotics a last step outside of surgery, and we take pride in a measured, holistic and reasonable approach to treatment. If you have persistent sinus symptoms that have lasted more than a couple of weeks, please contact us for a full review of your options today.