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Principles of Appropriate Antibiotic Use for Acute Sinusitis in Adults

Vincenza Snow, MD; Christel Mottur-Pilson, PhD; John M. Hickner, MD, MSc, American College of Physicians–American Society of Internal Medicine*
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*This paper, written by Vincenza Snow, MD, Christel Mottur-Pilson, PhD, and John M. Hickner, MD, MSc, was developed for the Clinical Efficacy Assessment Subcommittee: David C. Dale, MD (Chair); Patricia P. Barry, MD; William E. Golden, MD; Robert D. McCartney, MD; Keith W. Michl, MD; Allan R. Ronald, MD; Sean R. Tunis, MD; Kevin B. Weiss, MD; and Preston L. Winters, MD. Approved by the Board of Regents on 16 July 2000.

Annals of Internal Medicine encourages readers to copy and distribute this paper, providing such distribution is not for profit. Commercial distribution is not permitted without the express permission of the publisher.

Note: Clinical practice guidelines are “guides” only and may not apply to all patients and all clinical situations. Thus, they are not intended to override clinicians' clinical judgment. All clinical practice guidelines from the American College of Physicians–American Society of Internal Medicine are considered automatically withdrawn or invalid 5 years after publication or once an update has been issued.

Requests for Single Reprints: Customer Service, American College of Physicians–American Society of Internal Medicine, 190 N. Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Snow and Mottur-Pilson: American College of Physicians–American Society of Internal Medicine, 190 N. Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106.

Dr. Hickner: B111 Clinical Center, Michigan State University Department of Family Practice, East Lansing, MI 48824.

Ann Intern Med. 2001;134(6):495-497. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-134-6-200103200-00016
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In this guideline, we will present the supporting evidence for and make specific recommendations on how clinicians evaluating acute sinusitis can differentiate bacterial causes from viral causes and how they can determine when the use of antibiotics is beneficial. The numbers in square brackets are cross-references to the numbered sections in the accompanying background paper, “Principles of Appropriate Antibiotic Use for Acute Rhinosinusitis in Adults: Background,” which is part 2 of this guideline (see pages 498-505).

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