It may seem like an easy decision to prescribe an antibiotic, but it is actually a complex process. I consider each patient’s particular needs, allergies, previous antibiotic tolerance profile, compliance, other medicines that he is taking, severity of his sinus disease, the type of bacterial infection I am treating, and any cultures that may have been taken. Even then, the antibiotic may not work or may only partially work in helping clear his sinus infection. Luckily, there is usually more than one right choice. I have had patients who report that they went to two physicians and each gave them a different antibiotic. Well, they both may have been good choices.
Speak with your physician about all of these concerns and be sure to keep a good history of the antibiotics that you have taken. This should include all of the following:
■ A list of the antibiotics to which you have had a true allergic reaction, along with the description of the allergic reaction (e. g., rash, hives, breathing difficulty, or anaphylactic reaction).
■ A list of all antibiotics to which you have had other untoward responses or reactions (e. g., diarrhea, constipation, stomach upset, vaginal or other fungal infection, metal taste, joint pain, or dizziness). Your physician may tell you that a previous reaction of this
type may not necessarily repeat itself even though it may have been severe in the past.