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Patients treated with new and more expensive antibiotics for acute sinusitis symptoms did not display significant differences in outcomes compared with those treated with older and less expensive antibiotics, according to a study in the Oct. 17 Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers looked at the benefits of 17 older and newer antibiotics; more than 29,000 patients were analyzed. It was determined that cost of care was significantly higher for patients treated with newer antibiotics, yet their outcomes were similar. The average total direct charge for patients receiving an older antibiotic was $68.98 and a newer antibiotic was $135.17, a difference of $66.19.
"In conclusion, it appears that there is no incremental clinical benefit of newer, more expensive second-line antibiotics over older, less expensive first-line antibiotics for patients with acute uncomplicated sinusitis," the researchers say. "Due to the higher expense and potential for the development of resistant bacteria, physicians should avoid prescribing second-line antibiotics as the initial antibiotic treatment."