Prescription Medication for Sinus & Ear Infection

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Sinus and ear infections are not typically treated with prescription medication unless they are bacterial or fungal. Viral infections cannot be treated with antibiotics and, unless the infection is particularly serious, antiviral medication is not typically prescribed. When paired together, sinus and ear infections can be particularly painful and treatment options are numerous. Making matters worse for the sick individual is there is not one magic pill to clear up the infection. Doctors will prescribe a combination of any of the following therapies to remedy the infections.

Prescription Medication for Sinus & Ear Infection
(Kari Marie/Demand Media)

Corticosteroidal nasal sprays are used to strengthen the sinus and nasal tissue. Doctors will typically prescribe one to two sprays once or twice daily in each nostril. Corticosteroidal medication is absorbed into the nasal tissue, reducing inflammation and swelling, and strengthening the tissue. The reduction in inflammation and swelling leads to reduced mucus production and relief of congestion. The power of the steroid is most evident at sleep time. The spray is strong enough to keep nasal passages open throughout the evening, allowing the sick individual to rest without labored breathing. Popular brand names of these drugs include Flonase, Nasonex and Nasacort.

Kari Marie/Demand Media

Antibiotic therapies come in the form of pills and liquid. The antibiotic is ingested by mouth, digested and enters the bloodstream where it attacks the bacterial infection. The antibiotic seeks out bacterial cells and kills them. For a sinus infection, typical treatments include a 10- to 14-day course of drugs. Prescription drugs include penicillin-based drugs (penicillin or amoxicillin) or cephalosporins (cefuroxime or the brand-name Ceftin), which destroy the cell walls of the bacteria and kill off the infection. Doctors may also prescribe a macrolide (blarithromycin or the brand name Biaxin), which kills off the proteins which feed bacterial infections, which allows the body's natural defenses to attack the existing bacteria cells. doxycycline.

Kari Marie/Demand Media

Suspension drops are the typical course of treatment for outer and inner ear infections. Drops, which are placed directly into the ear, reduce irritation and inflammation and can be used in conjunction with oral antibiotics to fight the effects of a sinus and ear infection. The drops are acidic, which reduces inflammation and kills the infecting organism. For bacterial infections, popular brand names for these drops include Cortisporin, Ciprodex or Floxin. Fungal infections may be treated with Canesten or Triotic.

Kari Marie/Demand Media

People with chronic sinus infections will often be prescribed a regimen of histamine-blocking medicine to keep nasal passages clear. Histamines are substances that fuse to cells within the body, causing a person to feel constantly stuffed up. The histamine will attach itself to a healthy cell, causing inflammation and infection. The antihistamine destroys the center of histamine growth. Allergies can play a role in chronic sinus infections (as can other immune deficiencies), which is why popular antihistamine brands–Allegra, Claritin and Zyrtec, namely–are marketed as allergy treatments.

Kari Marie/Demand Media

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