Prescription data for nearly 3.7 million outpatients who received antibiotics for acute sinusitis in 2016 were reviewed for treatment duration. In 70% of the cases, antibiotics were prescribed for 10 days or more. Azithromycin (5- day course) was prescribed 20% of the time, despite the IDSA recommendation against its use. When azithromycin prescriptions were excluded, only 8% of patients were prescribed antibiotics for the recommended duration of 5 to 7 days.
Improved antibiotic stewardship is needed to curb the use of antibiotics for sinusitis, and to ensure that the duration is not longer than recommended.