Letters to the Editor

Update on Pharmacologic Treatment for Rhinosinusitis


FREE PREVIEW. AAFP members and paid subscribers: Log in to get free access. All others: Purchase online access.

FREE PREVIEW. Purchase online access to read the full version of this article.

Am Fam Physician. 2013 Feb 15;87(4):238.

Original Article: Antibiotic Use in Acute Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

Issue Date: November 1, 2012

Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/1101/p817.html

to the editor: I wanted to make a brief addition to this review. Recent clinical guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) recommend amoxicillin/clavulanate (Augmentin) instead of amoxicillin alone for the treatment of rhinosinusitis in children, with a strong level of recommendation for children and a weaker level for adults.1 This should be brought to the attention of readers.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations to disclose.


1. Chow AW, et al. IDSA clinical practice guideline for acute bacterial rhinosinusitis in children and adults. Clin Infect Dis. . 2012;54(8):e-72–e112.

in reply: We would like to thank Dr. Doering for pointing out the IDSA guideline on the treatment of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis, which was published several months after our manuscript was finalized for publication. The executive summary of the IDSA guideline recommends that amoxicillin/clavulanate be used for empiric antimicrobial therapy for acute bacterial rhinosinusitis in children, rather than amoxicillin alone (strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence).1 This recommendation was based primarily on the increase of Haemophilus influenzae and decrease of Streptococcus pneumoniae prevalence in the post–pneumococcal vaccine era; the high prevalence of ampicillin resistance among H. influenzae due to β-lactamase production; and the association between treatment failure with amoxicillin and the isolation of β-lactamase–producing H. influenzae in children with acute bacterial rhinosinusitis.

Amoxicillin/clavulanate is also recommended for empiric antimicrobial therapy in adults with acute bacterial rhinosinusitis, rather than amoxicillin alone (weak recommendation, low-quality evidence).1 This recommendation was also based primarily on in vitro susceptibility data and current prevalence rates of β-lactamase production among H. influenzae.

The IDSA guideline is the first to recommend amoxicillin/clavulanate instead of amoxicillin as first-line therapy for acute bacterial sinusitis. However, these recommendations are not based on patient-oriented outcomes, meaning that there is not good evidence that amoxicillin/clavulanate improves clinical outcomes compared with amoxicillin. Family physicians should use clinical judgment and continue to watch for evidence that may confirm or change these recommendations, especially for adults.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations to disclose.


1. Chow AW, et al. IDSA clinical practice guideline for acute bacterial rhinosinusitis in children and adults. Clin Infect Dis. 2012;54(8):e72–e112.

Send letters to afplet@aafp.org, or 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy., Leawood, KS 66211-2680. Include your complete address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors.

Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Possible conflicts of interest must be disclosed at time of submission. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting the AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. The editors may edit letters to meet style and space requirements.

This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online.


Copyright © 2013 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact afpserv@aafp.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions


Oct 15, 2016

Access the latest issue of American Family Physician

Read the Issue

Email Alerts

Don't miss a single issue. Sign up for the free AFP email table of contents.

Sign Up Now

Navigate this Article