Most patients with ABRS feel better within 7 days, and by 15 days, about 90% are cured or improved.
There are several ways to relieve sinusitis symptoms that should be discussed with your doctor to decide which are best for you:
Antihistamines and oral steroid medicines should not be used routinely because they have side effects and do not relieve symptoms.
No, both watchful waiting and antibiotic therapy are proven ways to treat ABRS. Most people get better naturally, and antibiotics only slightly increase symptom relief (about 10 to 15 people must use antibiotics to get 1 more person better after 7-15 days).
Antibiotics have side effects that include rash, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, allergic reactions, and causing resistant germs.
Your doctor can give you an antibiotic prescription, but you should only fill the prescription and take the antibiotic if you do not get better after 7 days or if you get worse at any time. If you do use the antibiotic, contact your doctor’s office and let them know.
Antibiotics are usually given for 10 days to treat ABRS, but shorter courses may be equally effective. Ask your doctor about a 5- to 7-day course of antibiotics since side effects are less common.
Rosenfeld RM, Piccirillo JF, Chandrasekhar, SS, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline: Adult Sinusitis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015.