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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Antibiotic-resistant sinus infections?

04/06/1999

Question:

I live in the Detroit Michigan area but a sister in Atlanta Georgia is on her third course of antibiotics trying to get rid of a sinus infection.

I`m on my second. After Zithromax, which did not dent it,Amoxil seems to be helping, but this is the nastiest infection I`ve had.

Are there antibiotic-resistant strains of sinus-infecting bacteria out there?

Answer:

Yes, the is currently a big problem nationwide with the emergence of resistant bacteria. In the nose and sinuses, a major concern are the penicillin resistant Pneumococcus. When this bacteria becomes resistant to penicillin, it also often is resistant to most of the other commonly used drugs for sinusitis.

There are currently several good antibiotics which are still effective against this organism.

You should check with an Otolaryngologist to confirm your diagnosis, consider cultures if needed, and then perhaps be started on one of these broader spectrum antibiotics.

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Response by:

Thomas A Tami, MD Thomas A Tami, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati