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JAMA. 2001 Oct 17;286(15):1849-56.

Impact of first-line vs second-line antibiotics for the treatment of acute uncomplicated sinusitis.

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1
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, Campus Box 8115, 660 S Euclid Ave, St Louis, MO 63110, USA. piccirij@msnotes.wustl.edu

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Studies suggest little benefit in relief of acute sinusitis symptoms from the use of newer and more expensive (second-line) antibiotics instead of older and less expensive (first-line) antibiotics. However, researchers have failed to include development of complications and cost of care in their analyses.

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the effectiveness and cost of first-line with second-line antibiotics for the treatment of acute uncomplicated sinusitis in adults.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS:

Retrospective cohort study using a pharmaceutical database containing demographic, clinical (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision), treatment, and charge information for 29 102 adults with a diagnosis of acute sinusitis receiving initial antibiotic treatment between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1997.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Absence of additional claim for an antibiotic in the 28 days after the initial antibiotic, presence of a claim for a second antibiotic, serious complications of sinusitis, and direct charges and use for the acute sinusitis treatment.

RESULTS:

There were 17 different antibiotics prescribed in this study. The majority (59.5%) of patients received 1 of the first-line antibiotics. The overall success rate was 90.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 90.0%-90.8%). The success rate for the 17 329 patients who received a first-line antibiotic was 90.1% and for the 11 773 patients who received a second-line antibiotic was 90.8%, a difference of 0.7% (95% CI, 0.01%-1.40%; P<.05). There were 2 cases of periorbital cellulitis, one in each treatment group. The average total direct charge for patients receiving a first-line antibiotic was $68.98 and a second-line antibiotic was $135.17, a difference of $66.19 (95% CI, $64.95-$67.43; P<.001). This difference was due entirely to the difference in charge of antibiotics and not other charges, such as professional fees, laboratory tests, or emergency department visits.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients treated with a first-line antibiotic for acute uncomplicated sinusitis did not have clinically significant differences in outcomes vs those treated with a second-line antibiotic. However, cost of care was significantly higher for patients treated with a second-line antibiotic.

PMID:
11597286
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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