Which antibiotic is best for treating sinus infections?

Which antibiotic is best for treating sinus infections?
Published : Feb 03, 2024
Last Updated : Feb 06, 2024

Are you suffering from bacterial sinus infection which is also known as bacterial sinusitis? If yes, then the doctor might prescribe you antibiotics. Depending upon your symptoms and infection severity, the doctor will recommend you the type of antibiotic treatment.

You need to know that a sinus infection caused by bacteria is only treated with antibiotics. However, sinus infections that have other causes like allergies or viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics.

What do you mean by a sinus infection?

Sinus infection or sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of your tissue that lines the sinuses. You need to know that healthy sinuses are filled with air. But when these sinuses are blocked and filled with fluid, germs start to grow and cause an infection.

It occurs when your nasal cavities are infected, swollen, and inflamed. Remember sinusitis is caused by a virus and continues even after other upper respiratory symptoms are already gone. However, one might also suffer from sinus infection which is caused by bacteria or rarely fungus.

What do you understand by antibiotics?

Antibiotics are effective medications that work in your body by either restricting the growth and replication of bacteria or simply by killing them. They are basically a type of antimicrobial that targets bacterial infections on or inside your body.

Doctors recommend antibiotics to patients who suffer from infections caused by bacteria. There are some antibiotics that are good at treating a wide range of bacteria, while others treat only certain bacteria.

Patients suffering from bacterial infections are only recommended antibiotics because antibiotics do not work in treating viral infections.

Do you need antibiotics to treat your sinus infections?

In order to treat your sinus infection, the doctor might not suggest antibiotics always. Sometimes, the sinus infection also improves without the intake of antibiotics.

Sinus infection caused due to viral cannot be treated with antibiotics. Instead, you might experience unpleasant side effects. You can experience side effects like rashes and even severe health conditions like antibiotic-resistant infections.

It is always better to consult the doctor and share the symptoms of your sinus infection before starting treatment with antibiotics. If you are diagnosed with bacterial sinusitis, the doctor will probably recommend you antibiotic. 

How antibiotics can be beneficial for you?

Antibiotics are beneficial only for patients suffering from bacterial sinusitis. The doctor will never prescribe you antibiotics if you suffer from viral, fungal, or other sinus infections.

While suffering from bacterial sinusitis, treatment with the right kind of antibiotics can provide you with quick relief. Along with this, antibiotic therapy also decreases the duration of symptoms and chances of experiencing severe complications. 

What common antibiotics you can take for sinus infections?

The doctor will prescribe you antibiotics only when you suffer from the symptoms of sinus caused by bacteria. Here are some most commonly prescribed antibiotics for sinus infections:

What symptoms do you experience when suffering from a sinus infection?

When there is a blockage of sinuses which are empty air spaces present in your nasal area, you start experiencing the symptoms of sinus infection. When your sinus becomes inflamed, you start experiencing pain as the area is blocked with fluid. In certain cases, it even permits the bacteria to grow. 

The main symptoms of sinus infection include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Postnasal drip
  • Pain in your upper jaw and teeth
  • Tenderness of your face
  • Sinus pain around the bridge of your nose
  • Hoarseness and sore throat

Apart from these symptoms, you might also experience other symptoms of sinus infection.

What are over-the-counter treatments?

For your sinus infection, the doctor can suggest an over-the-counter treatment before prescribing you an antibiotic.

The most common type of over-the-counter treatments include:

Nasal decongestants and antihistamines

There are numerous combination medicines available over the counter. However, before you start using any of the store-bought medicines, make sure to consult the doctor once. 

Nasal decongestant sprays

Nasal decongestant sprays are helpful in opening sinuses and relieving the symptoms on a short-term basis. However, these sprays must not be used for a long time. Using a steroid nasal spray like Flonase or Nasacort can help you to get relief from nasal congestion without causing any kind of rebound effect.  

Allergy medicines

Allergy medicines like Claritin or Zyrtec can help you when allergies are the main cause of sinusitis. 

Nasal corticosteroid sprays

Nasal corticosteroid sprays are effective in preventing inflammation and swelling in your sinuses and nasal passages. These sprays also decrease existing swelling linked with sinus infections.

One of the biggest benefits of using this type of nasal spray is that it does not cause a rebound effect and is safe for long-term use when compared to other types of nasal sprays.

However, before undergoing any of the over-the-counter treatments, make sure to discuss them with the doctor once.

Natural remedies

Here are some effective and best natural remedies that you can try to treat sinus infections. In case, you are suffering from sinus infection then following the below-stated natural remedies can help you to get relief from uncomfortable symptoms:

Nasal washing

Saline nasal rinses can aid you to flush out allergens, germs, and mucous plugs from the sinuses quickly.


The best way to speed up recovery is, resting when your body is involved in fighting against infection.

Humidifying the air

By using a humidifier or cool air vaporizer, you can keep the air moist and get relief from the symptoms of sinus infection.

While sleeping, elevate your head

Sleeping in this position will allow the sinuses to drain easily and decrease congestion quickly.

Use a warm compress

Simply apply heat to your sinuses by using a warm washcloth in order to ease your sinus pressure which is painful. However, the compress should not be too hot as it can harm your skin.

So, before you take any antibiotic for your sinus infection, it is vital to consult the doctor once.