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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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This is not news folks. For years scientific research has demonstrated that antibiotics do not treat sinus infections. They don't make the symptoms better and the patient is no better when they take an antibiotic than when they don't.

This British study, published in the December 12 2007 Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at people suffering from facial pain and a runny nose with greenish or yellowish mucous. In general their symptoms improved within about two weeks-whether they took the standard antibiotic amoxicillin, a steroid nose spray, or a placebo.

Antibiotics, particularly the penicillin-like drug amoxicillin, are among the most commonly prescribed medicines for sinus infections. Steroid sprays are also used sometimes. The study should lead to a "reconsideration of antibiotic use for acute sinusitis. The current view that antibiotics are effective can now be challenged," said lead author Dr. Ian Williamson of the University of Southampton in England.

Researchers in this study randomly assigned 240 adults to receive one of four treatments: 500 milligrams of amoxicillin three times daily for seven days and 400 units of steroid spray for 10 days; only amoxicillin; only steroid spray; or a placebo. Patients on the drugs didn't get better quicker than those using the placebo.

Millions of Americans get 'sinus infections' each year being one of the most common reasons for doctor visits. Almost all of them are being treated with antibiotics. Meaning that they are spending time and money for treatment that makes them no better and actually makes them worse. How do antibiotics make you worse? They lower your immune function by killing the healthy bacterial in the gut. They also cause yeast infections. Of course, one of the worse problems is that the unnecessary use of antibiotics means that you're less likely to respond to an antibiotic when you most need one.

In 2001 US head and neck doctors issued guidelines advising against using antibiotics for most sinus infections. From what I see with patients who comes to me with these problems, those guidelines are being ignored. Why? If the only tool you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail. Everything gets treated with an antibiotic-whether or not the science supports it.

For my patients a sinus rinse usually works really well. I almost always have them start the vitamin C protocol as well. Most of them are better in much less than 1 week. If not, we do an acute homeopathic remedy for the presenting symptoms. Patients who come to me with a history of chronic sinus infections are almost always better with this approach. They are able to break out of the cycle of repeated infections and no longer take medicines that are ineffective and harmful.


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