Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you're diagnosed with sinusitis, your doctor may recommend:

  • Antibiotics. If you have sinusitis caused by bacteria, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic. Antibiotics won't help the more common viral sinusitis, which usually occurs after an upper respiratory infection. Be sure to finish the entire course of medication you're prescribed — even if your signs and symptoms disappear before all the pills or capsules are gone.
  • Corticosteroid nasal sprays or pills. Your doctor may prescribe this medication if your sinusitis is related to inflammation or allergies.
  • Over-the-counter medications. As the sinus infection clears up, the sinus headaches should disappear. In the meantime, over-the-counter pain relievers, decongestants and saline nasal spray might help you feel better. Use these products only as directed. It may help to drink plenty of fluids as well.
  • Nasal saline irrigation. Nasal irrigation may help shrink the sinus membrane and increase drainage. Several over-the-counter nasal irrigation kits are available.
  • Surgical correction. If a structural problem in your nasal cavity is contributing to sinusitis or sinus headaches, surgical correction may be recommended.
Apr. 26, 2012

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.