Antibiotics For Sinus Infection

updated June, 30, 2021

The Best Antibiotic For Sinus Infection

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Sinusitis or sinus infection refers to the paranasal sinuses inflammation resulting from allergy, infection, or autoimmune issues. This medical condition is normally characterized by inflammation of the nasal passage and sinuses normally caused by fungal, viral, or bacterial pathogens that infiltrate, inflame and damage the lining of sinus hence making it thick, obstructing nasal passage, inhibiting drainage and making the mucus t accumulate. The common bacteria associated with this disease are Moraxella catarrhal and Streptococcus, which can be dealt with using antibiotics. The best antibiotics for sinus infections are the following drugs described below.


It is a form of penicillin antibiotic mostly prescribed for a sinus infection. According to medical research, amoxicillin provides narrow-spectrum penicillin necessary for killing and inhibiting the growth of various bacterial pathogens responsible for causing inflammation of the sinus. Like other penicillin antibiotics, Amoxicillin effectively inhibits the development of the bacterial cell by simply interacting with penicillin-binding proteins found on the inner side of the cell membrane. The inhibition of the bacteria’s cell membrane biosynthesis forces the bacterial cell to release autolysins necessary for destroying the bacterial cell.


Macrolides are narrow-spectrum antibiotics used to treat sinus infection by directly killing the bacteria. Macrolides achieve this goal by inhibiting the ability of bacteria to produce essential proteins for its survival hence inhibiting the growth of these harmful bacteria, this growth inhibition provides the immune system the chance of producing more white blood cells and other antibodies necessary for eliminating these bacterial cells. Apart from inhibiting the growth of bacteria, the administration of high doses of Macrolides may directly kill the bacterial cells.


Quinolones are some of the sinus infection antibiotics originating from a synthetic broad-spectrum antibiotics family. This term refers to powerful synthetic chemotherapeutic antibacterial. Quinolones eliminate bacteria causing sinus infection by altering their DNA transcription and replication by inhibiting the bacterial DNA topoisomerase II or gyrase enzyme.


Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole is a sulfonamide antibiotic having a combination of both sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim in the ratio of 5:1. Sulfamethoxazole is an analog of PAB (p-aminobenzoic acid) hence acting as a competitive inhibitor for enzyme thereby blocking the release of dihydropteroate acid. On the other hand, trimethoprim acts by altering the activity of bacterial dihydrofolate reductase thereby, hindering the synthesis of tetrahydrofolic acid. Generally, folic acid is one of the vital precursors in the synthesis of DNA uridine and nucleosides. The inability of bacteria to access folic acid from the infection host/ environment makes them depend on their de novo synthesis. The blocking of the enzymes deprives the bacteria of the two essential bases for DNA transcription and replication.


Levofloxacin is one of the sinus infection antibiotics commonly prescribed for bacterial infections that are life-threatening or have failed to effectively respond to other forms of antibiotics. It is marketed under different trade names such as Tavanic and Levaquin. This antibiotic is active against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. It cures sinus infections by blocking topoisomerase (enzyme essential for separating replicated DNA) and DNA gyrase hence inhibiting cell division. This process leads to the causes of death to these harmful bacteria responsible for sinusitis.

How To Choose The Best Antibiotic?

Antibiotics are great remedies for bacterial sinus infection while they have little effect on sinus infection caused by viruses. Virus Sinus Infection represents the majority of the reported cases. It is strongly suggested that the FDA discourages the use of antibiotics for viral sinus infection. It is only a bacterial infection, which should be treated using sinus infection antibiotics. Sinusitis may be caused by bacterial or viral infection.

Sinusitis, which is caused by a virus infection, cannot be treated using antibiotics but it should be treated using fever and pain medication like acetaminophen, mucolytics, and decongestants. If bacterial sinusitis infection is confirmed, it should be treated using antibiotic therapy. Its symptoms include nasal pus discharge and facial pain, which persists for over a week, and they do not respond to nasal medication like over the counter meds.

Antibiotic therapy is usually aimed at addressing acute sinus infection since it is able to achieve a reliable culture with a minimal aspiration to the sinuses. The most common bacteria that cause sinus infection include Haemophilus influenza, Streptococcus pneumonia, Streptococcus pyrogens, Staphylococcus aureus, and Moraxella catarrhal. Sinuses antibiotics should be in a position to kill all these bacterial types if it has to be effective.

Amoxicillin is considered to best antibiotic treating uncomplicated and acute infections but many physicians nowadays are choosing amoxicillin-clavulanate over amoxicillin for treatment of the bacteria sinus since its effect on most strains and species of bacteria causing the disease.

If a patient has an allergic reaction to penicillin loracarbef, azithromycin, cefaclor, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, and clarithromycin sinus infection antibiotics should be used as the first-line choice. If no progress has been reported after five days of treatment using amoxicillin antibiotics, the patient should be switched to use any of the above-mentioned antibiotics. If the antibiotic treatment shows improvement in a patient, it should be continued for a maximum of 14 days and a minimum of 10 days. A patient should also be encouraged to take mucolytics and decongestants as they help in draining the sinus infection.

Chronic sinus infection treatment may require long course medications like Augmentin accompanied by a drainage procedure of the sinus. The drainage may require a surgical operation in order to open the blocked sinus under normal anesthesia.

In many patients, sinusitis develops from allergic reactions first and later bacterial infection follows. Early treatment for sinusitis caused by allergic reaction may hinder the progress of bacterial sinusitis, which is the second phase. In rare cases, a fungal infection also referred to as mucormycosis or zygomycosis could develop in some patients. This kind of infection causes death among 50 to 85% of patients. Its treatment relies heavily on timely diagnosis and instant surgical debridement.

However, anti-fungal drugs may be used to address any underlying problem like diabetes. Antibiotics normally dry up the mucus and leave it just where it was and at times make it thicker and if after some time it gets some moisture the mucus may be a problem again. If a patient gets sinus infection antibiotics prescription, it should be followed until the full recovery as it could lead to antibiotic resistance.

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