here is little benefit in replacing older and cheaper antibiotics by the latest and most expensive drugs when treating acute, uncomplicated sinusitis, according to US researchers. Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine set out to determine whether the symptoms could be treated with older and less expensive (first-line) antibiotics or newer and more expensive (second-line) antibiotics.
Dr Jay Piccirillo and his team examined data from 29,102 adults with a diagnosis of acute sinusitis receiving initial antibiotic treatment. The antibiotic treatment received was divided into first-line therapy and second-line therapy. First-line antibiotics include amoxycillin, trimethoprim/sulphamethoxazole or erythromycin.
Results showed that the majority of patients received one of the first-line antibiotics, with amoxycillin being the most frequently prescribed. Of the 17,329 patients who received first-line treatment the success rate was 90.1 per cent and for the 11,773 patients receiving second-line treatment the success rate was 90.8 per cent.
Although the success rate in both types of treatment was similar, there was a difference in cost of $66.19 - indicating that the cost of care was significantly higher for patients treated with a second-line antibiotic.