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Sinus Infection and Sinusitis Medications

  • Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

What are the different types of sinus infection medicines?

Many medications are used to treat symptoms of sinus infections, including corticosteroids such as Flonase and Dymista (fluticasone propionate), Nasonex (mometasone furoate), hydrocortisone, Nasacort AQ (triamcinolone), Kenalog-40 (triamcinolone), and flunisolide; antihistamines including Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Zyrtec and Zyrtec-D (cetirizine), Claritin and Claritin D (loratadine), Clarinex (desloratadine), Allegra and Allegra-D (fexofenadine), Xyzal (levocetirizine), Cyproheptadine (cyproheptadine hydrochloride), Chlor-Trimeton (chlorpheniramine maleate), Astelin and Astepro (azelastine hydrochloride); and decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). Cough suppressants such as Benylin or Delsym (dextromethorphan) may also be prescribed. In some cases, antibiotics will be prescribed such as Augmentin (amoxicillin/clavulanate), Zithromax (azithromycin), Levaquin (levofloxacin), Bactrim or Septra (trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole), and Amoxil (amoxicillin).

QUESTION

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What are common side effects of sinus infection medications?

Side effects for sinus infection medications depend on the medication being used. Side effects of corticosteroids include dizziness, nausea, indigestion, increased appetite, weight gain, weakness or sleep disturbances. Side effects of some antihistamines may include drowsiness, heart palpitations, difficulty urinating, constipation, dry mouth, and nervousness. Side effects of decongestants include palpitations, insomnia, nervousness, and irritability, trouble with urination, and a decreased appetite. Side effects of cough suppressants include drowsiness/dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. Side effects of antibiotics include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, hives, or lightheadedness.

Where can people find more information about side effects of OTC and prescription sinus infection and sinusitis drugs?

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Always consult your doctor if you are having unexplained symptoms or questions related to your medications. For more information about side effects of sinus infection medications, search for the drug and click on the drug's "Side Effects Center" on the top left side of the page.

Reviewed By:
Michael Manning, M.D.
American Board of Allergy & Immunology
REFERENCES:
FDA Prescribing Information.
UpToDate.com. Patient information: Acute sinusitis (sinus infection) (Beyond the Basics).

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