January 10, 2023

Antibiotic Use in Acute Upper Respiratory Tract Infections – 12/27/2022

American Family Physician


We use too many antibiotics in an unnecessary fashion. One recent study of 15,000 patients treated with antibiotics found that 41% of the time, there was no indication for their use. Major groups recommend holding off on antibiotic use for mild to moderate sinusitis unless symptoms last for 10 or more days, or symptoms worsen after an initial period of improvement.

Note that 10% of the population report a penicillin allergy, though <1% actually have a confirmed penicillin allergy. Also, antibiotics are not typically helpful to treat laryngitis.