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Jamaica Scientific Research Institute
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Conventional Treatment for Sinusitis

Drugs for the treatment of acute and chronic sinusitis are usually the same. They include common Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory agents such as Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen and Aspirin.

If bacterial infection of the sinus is suspected and if the infection is severe, recurrent or persistent then the health provider may prescribe antibiotics. However, antibiotics won't help when acute sinusitis is caused by a viral or fungal infection. Also, most cases of bacterial sinusitis improve without antibiotics.

Antibiotics normally prescribed include amoxicillin, doxycycline or the combination drug trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. If the infection doesn't go away or if the sinusitis comes back, your doctor may try a different antibiotic.

If allergies are a contributing factor, then allergy shots (immunotherapy) that help reduce the body's reaction to specific allergens may help treat the condition.

Corticosteroids and decongestants may also be brought into play depending on symptoms and severity.

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Drug Class
Mode of Action
Common Side Effects
Nasal corticosteroids
Fluticasone, mometasone , budesonide,triamcinolone and beclomethasone
Precise mechanism of action is not known.
Corticosteroids have been shown to have a wide range of effects on multiple cell types including mast cells, eosinophils, neutrophils, macrophages, and lymphocytes.
They also affect inflammatory mediators including histamine, eicosanoids, leukotrienes, and cytokines) involved in inflammation.
  • severe or ongoing nose bleed
  • sores in the nose that won't heal
  • vision problems
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms
  • headache, back pain;
  • minor nose bleed;
  • menstrual problems, loss of interest in sex;
  • sinus pain, cough, sore throat;or
  • sores or white patches inside or around your nose
Oral or injected corticosteroids
(prednisone and methylprednisolone)
Used to relieve inflammation from severe sinusitis, especially if you also have nasal polyps.
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • extreme changes in mood
  • changes in personality
  • bulging eyes
  • acne
  • thin, fragile skin
  • red or purple blotches or lines under the skin
  • slowed healing of cuts and bruises
  • increased hair growth
  • weight gain
Decongestants (Pseudoephedrine,oxymetazoline and phenylephrine)
These drugs shrink blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion (stuffy nose). These medications are generally taken for a few days at most; otherwise they can cause the return of more severe congestion (rebound congestion).
  • fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • severe dizziness or anxiety
  • easy bruising or bleeding,unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms
  • dangerously high blood pressure(severe headache, blurred vision, ringing in your ears, anxiety, confusion,chest pain, trouble breathing, uneven heart rate, seizure)
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling restless or excited (especially in children)
  • sleep problems (insomnia)skin rash or itching·

For a full profile on a drug you may be taking, visit Drugs.com or Rxlist.com and simply enter the name.

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