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Review: antibiotics are more effective than placebo for acute bacterial rhinosinusitis

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Q What are the relative efficacies of various antibiotics for treatment of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis? Does duration of treatment affect efficacy?


Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline (1997 to September 2004), reference lists of relevant reviews, and technical experts.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

published English language randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that included ⩾10 patients per group and compared antibiotics with placebo or other antibiotics in patients of any age with acute (<30 d) uncomplicated bacterial sinusitis or acute exacerbation of chronic sinusitis. Studies of patients with chronic sinusitis only or other respiratory infections were excluded. 2 reviewers independently assessed studies for methodological quality using a 3 category score based on level of bias.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

treatment failure (lack of improvement or worsening of signs and symptoms by the …

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  • For correspondence: Dr S Ip, Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA. sip{at}

  • Source of funding: US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.