About 90 percent of people with sinusitis are prescribed antibiotics. But an analysis of nine trials has shown the drugs make no difference, even if the patient has been ill for more than seven days.
Sinusitis is very common, with 1 to 5 percent of adults diagnosed every year. It can cause high temperature, pain and tenderness in the face and forehead, and a blocked or runny nose.
It had been thought that a lengthy illness of this type could indicate a bacterial, rather than viral, infection -- which could presumably be cured with antibiotics. But the research showed that 15 patients would need to be treated before even one would be cured with antibiotics.
* BBC News March 14, 2008